Full STEM Ahead

When Science and Art Come Together!

This summer, CU Science Discovery has had the pleasure of working with nine St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD) students as part of the Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) pilot program. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the REM program was designed to provide research experiences and mentoring opportunities to STEM students that may ultimately influence their career path. Our student group worked with three SVVSD teachers and two mentors—one STEM Academy graduate slated to attend CU in the fall and one CU undergraduate student from the School of Engineering. The six-week program kicked off with a week of CU Boulder laboratory tours, designed to provide inspiration for the projects they would be working on in the coming weeks. The students were divided into three teams and met daily at the Innovation Center in Longmont to work on projects of their own choosing:

  • The Smart Shirt team designed a shirt using conductive thread and a LilyPad Arduino board that displays a person’s pulse via an LED light on the shirt.
  • The Smart Toy, by the Toy Tech team, is a stuffed animal housing a Raspberry Pi computer that can be programmed to remind children to complete specific tasks.
  • The Flow Visualization team created a standards-based teaching kit for junior high teachers to help them bring scientific fluid concepts to students lacking an interest in science.

Many thanks to all of our CU partners for making these projects possible!

Explaining the inner-workings of the Smart Shirt.

 

Displaying the functionality of the Smart Shirt. See the LED at the top of the “S”?

 

Programming the Smart Toy for a demonstration.

 

The Toy Tech team explaining how the Smart Toy works.

 

The Flow Visualization team explaining the contents of their teacher kit.

 

Further explaining the contents and packaging of their kit.

 

 

Engaging Girls in STEM

Two of the most powerful determinants of whether or not a female pursues a career in the sciences is whether or not the proper educational groundwork has been laid for a successful path and whether anyone encourages her along the way. Here at Science Discovery we are passionate about encouraging girls to break out of common stereotypes and explore topics that are unfamiliar to them. We make every effort to offer diverse camps for students of all ages in order to get them hooked on science, technology, engineering and math as soon as possible in their educational careers. This year we developed a suite of nine Girls in STEM summer camps. Here are just a few highlights of the girls getting involved in a variety of STEM projects:

Coding apps in There’s an App for That!

 

Testing acids and bases in Chemistry Lab.

Observing her bugs in EcoExplorers.

Discussing her research in Life in Ponds and Streams.

 

Learning about the properties of popcorn in Science Chefs.

 

Filming a segment in iMovie.

 

Showing off her unicorn mask in Mythical Creatures.

 

Handling a snake in Hands-On Herpetology.

 

Science Discovery Joins the Maker Movement!

Science Discovery is joining the maker revolution! As you may know, the recent ‘maker movement’ has been labeled the new industrial revolution. At the heart of the movement are ‘maker spaces’ that allow for tinkering, creativity, collaboration and innovation. This week we celebrate the launch of our first-ever Maker Space summer camp! Instructor, Brian Jernigan, is leading campers through the engineering design process as they work to solve a variety of problems.

Getting prepped for a rousing round of balloon jousting.

 

Making a few adjustments as they work through the testing phase.

 

 

Nothing scientific here- just a narwhal having fun!

 

Mr. Brian instructs a student on the proper way to cut her materials.

 

Following the steps of the engineering design process.

 

Building an accurate representation of the box they designed themselves.

 

Upward Bound Explores the World of Waves

Last Tuesday we had the pleasure of hosting a group of 52 Upward Bound students from southwest Colorado and New Mexico. Upward Bound is a program that provides fundamental support to participants in their preparation for college entrance. The program provides opportunities for participants to succeed in pre-college performance and ultimately in higher education pursuits. Upward [...]

Literature Inspires STEM Involvement

Is has been said that reading is the centerpiece of intellectual development in all disciplines. Educational researchers are continuously looking for ways to integrate science with language and literacy skills, so as to increase involvement of students in STEM fields. Our instructors occasionally incorporate storybooks, elementary chapter books and young adult fiction into our curriculum [...]