Friday, November 7, 2014

This Week's Sci-Light!

Last week's blog focused on undergraduate opportunities for doing science through programs offered across the country.  This week, I want to shift to another group of students who are looking for ways to engage in learning by doing--high school students.  I'm on a list serve that focuses on Marine Science education and a question was posed about what students could do this coming summer.  It seemed that a blog was a good way to spread the word and to stir up some ideas for this next summer.
Credit:  Boston College

I'll begin by highlighting an NSF (National Science Foundation) and STEM Garden Institute funded project that teaches students about science, business, communication, customer service and energy through the growing and selling of vegetables.  Boston College Professor Mike Barrett got high school students involved in hydrofarming through hydroponics (the process of growing food with nutrient-rich water instead of soil in a green house) and then selling the food at a local farmers market.  Why?  Because when students engage in science as such an action, they are taking part in an emerging market that blends scientific knowledge, business savvy, alternative energy applications, healthy food choices, and local, urban food production and realizing that science is not only relevant but available to them as a career choice.

Banner for LA Maker Space web page
Jumping coasts, I want to shift to citizen science or involving people in scientific questions.  "LA Maker Space is a non-profit, family-friendly, community-driven organization committed to exploring new ideas in a creative, collaborative environment, always exploring the age-old idea of the community coming together to explore, create, invent, and learn."  To be involved, you can organize a workshop, participate in a project, develop a project, donate, or volunteer.  The space facilitates the gathering of a community of people who are curious and actively seeking to share their ideas and expertise with students and adults. 

There are also many projects, camps or activities that students can participate in during the summer.  I'm going to highlight a few, but first I want to mention Pathways to Science, a national clearinghouse of programs for K-8, high school, K-12 teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctorals/early career scientists, faculty and administration and science centers or partnerships.  While many programs have not yet listed their upcoming summer activities, there past program descriptions can provide potential details.

C-DEBI HS Camp (L. Chilton)
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations funded by NSF sponsors a 1 week marine science camp for high school students on Catalina Island, CA (20 miles off the coast of LA) in the summer teaching through hands-on activities.  We pay travel, room and board and for all activities. 

Summer camp Deep Green Wilderness programs are explore different parts of the Salish Sea (coastal waterways between the southwestern tip of Canada and the northwestern tip of the US) on board a sailboat. Scholarships are available.

The Lawrence Hall of Science offers a residential marine biology camp in the summer for high school students, anticipated dates are June 13-18th, 2015. It is held at Bodega Marine Labs (UC Davis).

The Center for STEM Education at Bradley University lists both local and national summer opportunities in medicine, NASA, engineering, and chemistry.
California MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Academy) School Programs reach middle and high school students with STEM activities, study skills, college campus visits and more.

Whether you're an educator, parent, sibling or high school student, this blog was meant to spark your imagination.  What are you interested in?  How can you engage yourself, your family, your students in the intersection of science and life?  How can you be, Sci-Curious!?!

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