STEMtastic Jamestown, What about the Boys?

On January 5th, 2015 the Great Plains STEM Education Center is hosting a STEMtastic Jamestown event for 7th and 8th grade boys at the Jamestown Middle School in Jamestown, ND in parallel to an event on that same day co-hosted by the American Association of University Woman:

The STEMtastic Jamestown! event will maintain as a thread of discussion throughout the day on Engineering Design. The day starts with Dr. Heidi Manning of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN who will be describing her work on the NASA Mars Rover Mission in the context of engineering design principals.

Students will then take part in three of twelve sessions where in each hands-on and minds-on engineering design will be the focus.

Session descriptions will include:

      1. KidWinds Design Challenge: Students experiment with the generation of electricity from wind using the KidWind systems, investigating blade number, size, and material, facilitated in Room 204 by Amanda Fickes, Great Plains STEM Education Center @VCSU.
      2. Parachute Design: What makes the best parachute design?  Students are asked to design a light-weight parachute system given challenging constraints. Experimenting and data collection are two themes, facilitated in Room 226 by Caroline Bohn of Moore Engineering in Minot, ND.
      3. Roller Coaster Physics: The design of an exciting roller coaster ride relies on good engineering principles and economics. Students experiment with roller coaster design using the Pitsco system of balls rolling in channeled rubber tracks that can be arranged in ramps, loops, and cork-screws, facilitated in the Thompson Conference Room by Jared Richards of UTS Aerospace in Jamestown, ND.
      4. Arduino/Scratch Challenge: In this session students are introduced to the Arduino micro-controller board and the Scratch programming language and will work on a stoplight challenge, facilitated in Room 241 by Paul Jenson of EduTech.
      5. Exploring the Universe in the Geodome:  Students explore the universe in this state of the art 3D simulation of the stars, learning about star formation, galaxies, nebula, and super-nova. Participants will “fly” in the Geodome in this memorable experience.  This session will take place in the JMS Gymnasium and will be facilitated by Dr. Tim Young from the University of North Dakota Department of Physics and Astronomy and John Boucha who is with the Great Plains STEM Education Center @VCSU.
      6. ChemDetectives:  Someone in Farmington is using banned chemicals on their crops, putting everyone at risk.  Students will use chemical analysis to find the culprit! This session is facilitated in Room 223 by Dr. Erin Nyren-Erickson of Discovery Kids Express and HQC Biosciences in Fargo, ND.
      7. Making Music with the Makey Makey: Students will explore a really cool and straightforward technology that can be used to instrument objects to create sounds when touched, e.g. a piano keyboard from whole bananas.  This session is facilitated in Room 242 by Rebecca Engelman, ND Council on the Arts, and David DeMuth, Jr. from the Great Plains STEM Education Center @VCSU.
      8. Probing the Nano World: Students will be exploring the microscopic through the use of curriculum by the Nano Infusion Project. This session is facilitated in Room 233 by Kyle Forgette, Shane Wallerick, and Sterling Marlow from the Regional Center for Nanotechnology Education at Dakota Community and Technical College in Minneapolis, MN.
      9. On Seeing Small: Exploring the atomic world requires sophisticated technology. Students will connect to a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) at NDSU using high-bandwidth connectivity to North Dakota State University. This session takes place in the Vondergeest Conference Room by Kim Owen from North Dakota State University, with Jayma Moore and Scott Payne at NDSU SEM Lab assisting with control of the SEM, and with assistance by Dr. Jamie Wirth from the Great Plains STEM Education Center @VCSU.
      10. Exploring Electric Motors: Students will design and build an electric motor using basic materials that include magnets, wire, and paper clips to understand more on the physics of motors and the production of electricity.  This session will be facilitated in Room 222 by Dr. Peder Gjovik from Valley City State University.
      11. Mission to Mars: The round trip to Mars could take an Earth year or more, avoiding vitamin deficiencies key for astronaut health. Students will use chemistry techniques to measure vitamin c content in a variety of juices to inform their scurvy prevention designs, facilitated in Room 235 by Dr. Teather Sundstrom of Valley City State University.
      12. Graham Cracker Package Challenge: Students will work collaboratively in teams of three to design packaging that will ensure your graham crackers travel from the factory to your home is crumble-free. This session will be facilitated in Room 246 by Carrie Leopold of the InspireLab which is located in Moorhead, MN.

As the end of the day wrap, Carrie Leopold of the Inspire Lab will be presenting on the importance that both North Dakota boys and girls should be pursuing STEM careers and why they should work together for that outcome.

The schedule for the 7th and 8th grade boys on January 5, 2015 is anticipated as:

      1. 8:30 School start-time, meeting in Gym by 8:45 am
      2. 8:45 am – 8:55 am Check-in and welcome
      3. 9:00 am – 9:20 am Engineering Design Challenge
      4. 9:30 am – 10:00 am Dr. Heidi Manning, Concordia College
      5. 10:05 am – 11:05 am Student STEM Session 1 of 3
      6. 11:10 pm – 11:40 pm Lunch
      7. 11:45 am – 12:45 pm Student STEM Session 2 of 3
      8. 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Student STEM Session 3 of 3
      9. 2:10 pm – 2:45 pm Breaking Down the Barriers: Can Girls Really Do Science?

More on this event can be found as:

Questions to DeMuth

Photos from the Jan. 5th, 2015 event.

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