Editor's note: This article was orginally published on NETL's website.
Throughout the school year, NETL’s K-12 STEM Education & Outreach team encourages positive attitudes surrounding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by bringing engaging hands-on, minds-on activities to children. During the summer when classrooms are empty, the team continues to provide STEM instruction at day camps, summer programs and other educational events located near the Lab’s research sites in Pittsburgh; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Albany, Oregon. Team members, along with the Lab’s STEM Ambassadors, led four active learning experiences throughout July that served to enhance children’s critical thinking skills and foster an early interest in STEM topics.
Girl Scouts Day Camp (Finleyville, Pennsylvania) — The K-12 STEM Education & Outreach team conducted day-long programs at the Girl Scouts Day Camp at Mingo Park in Finleyville, Pennsylvania, July 10-12. The team worked with girls from kindergarten through seventh grade and engaged them in active learning experiences that focused on the engineering design process. Other emphasized skills included problem-solving, design/redesign and collaboration, as well as using scientific tools such as microscopes to make observations.
Mountain State Invitational STEM Carnival (Fairmont, West Virginia) — NETL STEM Ambassadors Don Ferguson and Justin Weber staffed a booth at the Mountain State Invitational STEM Carnival, held at Fairmont State University in Fairmont, West Virginia, July 13 and shared fun, educational activities with attendees. With more than 1,000 children from kindergarten through 12th grade in attendance, Ferguson and Weber provided various STEM activities and offered demonstrations related to current research underway at NETL. The activities included a desktop wind tunnel, a bicycle generator, a combustion experiment and more. The STEM Carnival was part of the International FIRST LEGO League Mountain State Invitational Robotics tournament, hosted by the NASA Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) Educational Resource Center.
Strive for a Better Tomorrow Inc. (Donora, Pennsylvania) — The K-12 STEM Education & Outreach team visited Strive for a Better Tomorrow Inc., a day program for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, July 18. The team presented information surrounding the use of scientific observation tools and engaged the students in a rollercoaster design and testing activity that emphasized the engineering design process and potential and kinetic energy.
Shuman Juvenile Detention Center (Pittsburgh) — Team members visited Shuman Juvenile Detention Center for a day-long program July 24 and challenged students from fifth through 12th grades with active learning experiences that focused on engineering, problem-solving and collaboration.
NETL’s mission to provide technology solutions for today and options for tomorrow begins by inspiring the next generation of innovators through STEM outreach efforts. Learn more about opportunities and activities here.