STEM

 
The front cover of "They Joy of Science".Geophysics Professor and Interim Department Head Roel Snieder has coauthored “The Joy of Science: Seven Principles of Scientists Seeking Happiness, Harmony, and Success,” a book focused on helping scientists have a productive and fulfilling career by encouraging them to focus on the positive and minimize stress.
 
The book is now being used as a part of new faculty orientation at Mines and in several workshops held for the greater campus community.
 

“Let go of the concept of balance—instead, think of it as harmony,” Snieder told faculty and staff at a recent workshop. The faculty and staff were asked to complete a worksheet that had them weigh what they balance in life. Some examples were “e-mail vs. everything else,” “exercise vs. work” and “demands of the outside world vs. internal ambitions.”
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough."
One of the illustrations from the book, all done by Roel's brother, Janwillem Snieder. "Working under the commonly held belief that no matter how hard we work, it is never enough." 

Snieder explained that rather than struggling to achieve the “balance” between things that may never come into line, we should instead aim to achieve “harmony,” the first principle outlined in the book.

A key point that Snieder and coauthor Jen Schneider, a former Mines faculty member, emphasize in the book is the idea that most of these stresses can be eliminated by a change in attitude.
 
“A lot of this is driven by our belief system,” explained Snieder in an interview. “For scientists, the belief system is—can be—very normative and weighing down on them. For example, there is this wide-held belief that you can only contribute if you’re the best—you have to be the best.”
 
Scientists and academics are inherently vying to be the best and putting themselves down if they are not, said Snieder. This is a huge problem in the scientific community because oftentimes you will end up with someone doing really important research, but it might never get out due to this lack of courage. 
 
“The fact that you can do something better, does not mean you’re not doing a good job,” Snieder told the group at the workshop. Ken Osgood, director of the McBride Honors Program at Mines, was one of the attendees.
 
“Roel has a marvelous and infectious perspective on life,” said Osgood. “'The Joy of Science' reflects that.  His book is a recipe for revitalizing so much of what we do – not just our work, research and teaching, but the quality and depth of thought that informs how we do these things.”
 
Although the book is targeted at scientists, its guiding principles are something that can be applied to a much broader community. The idea that one should focus on the positive impact one makes in one’s work rather than constantly overburdening oneself with stress from “not doing enough” is something everyone can learn from. 
 
Contact:
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

 
On Oct. 22, 45 Boy Scouts from various troops in the Denver Area Council came to Mines to learn about economic minerals, mine safety, environmental stewardship and the mining industry in Colorado. 

Boy Scouts working to earn their Mining in Society merit badges with SME at Mines.

The event was led by the Mines student chapter of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), in conjunction with local members of the Minerals Education Coalition.
 
“The Boy Scouts and Mines have been doing this for several years,” said Evan McCombs, campus relations chair for Mines' SME chapter. “This was the largest class of scouts taking the Mining in Society merit badge class from an SME student chapter ever in the U.S.” 
 
Nearly a dozen SME members volunteered to teach scouts about the history of mining and why it remains important today, as well as the future of the industry. The day included a trip to Mines’ Geology Museum, where the scouts saw minerals from many of the mining districts in Colorado, as well as gems from around the world.
 
To give the scouts an even more hands-on experience, SME brought them to the Edgar Experimental Mine in Idaho Springs the following weekend. The boys were given the opportunity to see all the elements of a working mine and discover how mining has developed from the 1860s to today. 
 
After two exciting weekends of immersive learning, the merit badges awarded to the scouts were certainly well deserved. 
 
SME expects to see the number of scouts double at next year’s event, and is also considering offering another merit badge class in the spring, depending on the demand. 
 
“Colorado’s rich mining history is simply fascinating to these youngsters,” said McCombs, “just as it is to the students of SME.” 
 
 
Story and photos courtesy of Evan McCombs, Mining Engineering Class of 2018; edited by Agata Bogucka and Mark Ramirez.
 
Contact:

Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

 


[Updated Nov. 2, 2016]

Mineral and Energy Economics MS students Bansidhar Bandi, James Crompton, Martin Kohn, Ashwin Ravichandran and David Rodziewicz finished in the top four at the “Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition,” Nov. 1 at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business as part of the university’s “Energy Week.”

They beat several Ivy League schools to make it to the final round where they competed against Johns Hopkins (first place), Washington University at St. Louis (second place), and Carnegie Mellon (third place).

The goal of the one-day competition is to connect students, academia and industry stakeholders and come up with creative solutions to address real energy challenges affecting the developing world. By encouraging this spirit of innovation, the competition identifies emerging future leaders of the energy industry. The 2016 challenge examined the changes taking place in Cuba’s energy landscape. Teams presented their solutions to a panel of industry leaders and competed for $10,000 in prizes.

Approximately 30 submissions from schools worldwide were received. Of these 30 institutions, 12 were selected for the final round. The Mines MEE students were among an elite group – other schools competing in the finals included Columbia, Duke, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Cornell, UNC Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of Maryland, University of Pittsburgh - Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, and Yale.

The students weren't the only ones representing Colorado School of Mines at Duke Energy Week. Mines alum Mauricio Gutierrez, '99 MS Mineral Economics and Chief Executive Officer at NRG in Princeton, NJ was one of the keynote speakers at the Duke University Energy Conference. 

Learn more about the competition and participants by visiting EnergyWeekatDuke.org.

About Mineral and Energy Economics at Mines
Founded in 1969, this world-renowned program in the Division of Economics Business leads to MS and PhD degrees in Mineral and Energy Economics. This program attracts students from all over the world, and Mines MEE alumni are known globally for their career achievements and qualifications. Students gain the skills necessary for understanding the complex interactions of markets and policy that influence the energy, mineral and environmental industries. The program focuses on applied quantitative tools and models that form a foundation for sound business and public policy. Learn more about Mines’ Mineral and Energy Economics MS and PhD programs.

Photo: Mineral and Energy Economics MS students James Crompton, Ashwin Ravichandran, Bansidhar Bandi, David Rodziewicz and Martin Kohn finished in the top four at the “Energy in Emerging Markets Case Competition,” Nov. 1 at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business as part of the university’s “Energy Week.”

CONTACT
Kelly Beard, Communication Specialist, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3452 | kbeard@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences and Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu

On Wednesday, September 14, the White House will host a summit on Computer Science for All, marking progress on expanding computer science (CS) education and celebrating new commitments in support of the effort. Colorado School of Mines is a key member of the initiative and will be doubling its outreach to CS educators in 2017.

Mines has formed a strong partnership with the Front Range Computer Science Teachers’ Association (CSTA) to improve K-12 computer science education in Colorado. Under this new initiative, Mines has committed to recruit, engage and train over 100 Colorado teachers in computer science content and pedagogy during the next year, doubling last year’s outreach. Mines will also offer ongoing support to all new computer science teachers in the state who request support.

Mines and Front Range CSTA will continue working together to create a thriving community of Colorado computer science teachers in order to offer both mutual support and the opportunity to share curriculum and best practices. Mines also commits to helping prepare over 300 K-12 educators from around the country to teach CS courses by hosting CSPdWeek next summer.

These commitments build on Mines efforts to improve CS education in Colorado and the country. In 2015, the Division of Computer Science created C-START: Colorado – STrategic Approach to Rally Teachers, which aims to improve the skills of existing computer science teachers in Colorado. The division also ran two coding camps for middle school students and hosted the 2016 CSPdWeek.

Computer Science for All (CSforAll) is a White House initiative to empower all American students from kindergarten through high school to learn computer science and be equipped with the computational thinking skills they need to be creators in the digital economy, not just consumers, and to be active citizens in our technology-driven world. Our economy is rapidly shifting, and both educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that computer science has become a basic skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility.

For more on the National Science Foundation’s “Computer Science for All” (CSforAll) program, visit www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/csed/csforall.jsp

To view the White House summit via livestream, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live from 1–3 p.m. on September 14. 

 

Middle school participants and Mines CS student leaders at the 2016 Exploring Tech Camp.

 

Contact:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Anica Wong, Communications Specialist, CSM Foundation | 303-273-3904 | acwong@mines.edu

In a state with an energy economy as purple as its politics, it can be hard to decide where to stand.

The Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines teamed up with Inside Energy to host Spark! Unpacking the Politics of Energy in Colorado on Sept. 8 at Mines' Ben H. Parker Student Center.

The Payne Institute and Inside Energy explored everything Colorado’s energy portfolio stands to lose, gain or change in the 2016 election. Journalists from Inside Energy pressed a panel of experts on critical energy issues to help the public make their own decisions in November.

The panel included Ian Lange, PhD, Mineral and Energy Economics Program Director, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines; Tracee Bentley, Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council; Meghan Nutting, Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs, Sunnova; and Lee Boughey, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

“This panel coversed a wide variety of the Colorado energy landscape,” says Dr. Lange. “It was exciting to hear the views of my fellow panelists and share my thoughts on how Colorado could be impacted by the policies on the ballot this fall.”

Read a recap and view photos from the event.

Visit EarthPolicy.Mines.edu for more information.

About the Payne Institute at Colorado School of Mines
The mission of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at Colorado School of Mines is to inform and shape sound public policy related to earth resources, energy and the environment. Its goal is to educate current and future leaders on the market, policy and technological challenges presented by energy, environmental and resource management issues, and provide a forum for national and global policy debate. For more information, visit EarthPolicy.Mines.edu.

About Inside Energy
Inside Energy is a collaborative journalism initiative among public media with roots in Colorado, Wyoming and North Dakota. It is funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Its mission, in collaboration with its partner stations, is to create a more informed public on energy issues. Inside Energy seeks to make energy issues a household topic and to inspire community conversations on the topic of energy. Learn more at InsideEnergy.org.

Contact:
Kelly Beard, Communication Specialist, Division of Economics and Business, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3452 | kbeard@mines.edu
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3088 | kmorton@mines.edu

Water-Energy Education for the Next Generation, a Colorado School of Mines Research Experience for Teachers sponsored by the National Science Foundation, kicked off its first summer training with nine teachers from Colorado public schools. The six-week summer program focused on impacting K-12 STEM curricula by infusing standards-based, active-learning lessons with current research in the water-energy nexus.

                                 

Left to Right: Stephanie Spiris, Melissa McVey, Professor Timothy Strathmann, Renee Adams-Lee, Associate Professor Chris Higgins, Jill-Maria Kuzava, Assistant Professor Chris Bellona, Patricia Brandenburger, Professor Terri Hogue, WE²ST Education & Outreach Specialist Amy Martin, Shannon Garvin, Associate Professor Josh Sharp, Research Assistant Professor Andrea Blaine, Research Associate Cassandra Glenn, Liz Hudd, Julie McLean, Professor Tzahi Cath, and Amy Dehne

Participants shared what they learned and how they would apply it in their classrooms in culminating presentations July 22. Melissa McVey, a sixth-grade science teacher at Bell Middle School in Golden, credited the faculty and graduate students she worked with for new ideas on how to incorporate lessons on biomagnification and contaminants. She plans to have her students study how plants can improve water quality, and ultimately design and create their own mini-wetland.

                                       
Melissa McVey shares insights gathered during her summer research experience at Mines.

Patricia Brandenburger, an eighth-grade STEM teacher at Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton, was similarly enthusiastic about the program, saying, “I learned a lot about hydrology, geology and geochemistry, which has made me rethink the way I want to teach our energy transformation unit.”

WE²NG is an outreach component of the ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE²ST, led by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Terri Hogue and Research Assistant Professor Andrea Blaine. The program included technical, professional and pedagogical training, as well as weekly field trips to connect teachers with industry contacts. WE²NG will continue collaborative relationships with the teacher participants throughout the academic year.

Blaine hopes to see the program evolve and include even more local teachers next summer. “This first cohort of teachers has set the bar high,” said Blaine.  She also expressed her hope that the collaboration between K-12 teachers, Mines faculty and industry leaders will change the way STEM education is delivered. Blaine added, “I believe that a systemic, sustained method of bringing real and exciting science problems into the classroom could revolutionize the way the next generation of scientists addresses critical issues.”

 

Contact:

Deirdre Keating, Communications Manager, College of Engineering & Computational Sciences | 303-384-2358 | dkeating@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Communications Manager, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu

Colorado School of Mines and Lockheed Martin hosted 150 students from five local high schools on campus Feb. 23 to celebrate National Engineers Week. Students spent the day touring research centers including the Center for Space Resources, Mines Geology Museum, Advanced Water Technology Center, ConocoPhillips Center for a Sustainable WE2ST, the Colorado Fuel Cell Center and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI).

“The beauty of being able to lead a tour through the Geology Museum while discussing Critical Materials, is that you are able to impress upon visitors a better understanding of the complex network of global mineral resources, their susceptibility to supply chain disruption, the importance of minerals in our future, and the dire need for continued advancement of technologies through research,” said geology graduate student Mandi Hutchinson. “It is really great to see in the future workforce a cognitive recognition of these concepts.  That’s what I saw in the gazes of many of our high school visitors.”

Twenty-five Lockheed Martin engineers and Mines alumni participated in a luncheon roundtable mentoring session focused on career mentorship where they shared advice on discipline, teamwork, study skills and work/life balance.

“Engineering is a building block of society, and at Lockheed Martin we’re engineering a better tomorrow by developing new solutions for our customers toughest challenges,” said Mark Pasquale, vice president of Engineering and Technology at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “This week we’re celebrating our brilliant engineers who are solving some of the world’s most difficult challenges, and we are committed to inspiring future generations to pursue STEM careers for missions to Mars and beyond.”

National Engineers Week is Feb. 21-27. The event aims to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers and bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents.

 

Contact:
Kathleen Morton, Digital Media and Communications Manager, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3088 / kmorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines / 303-273-3541 / kgilbert@mines.edu

Jeanette Alberg, Manager, Community Relations, Lockheed Martin / 303-977-5841 / jeanette.a.alberg@lmco.com
Gary Napier, Communications Manager, Lockheed Martin / 303-971-4012 / gary.p.napier@lmco.com

Consider the top 30 innovations in the last 30 years, and Tracy Camp will tell you that none of them would have happened without computer science. “Think of what computer science has done for our world,” says Camp, a computer science professor at Mines. “Online shopping, medical applications, robotic surgeries, DNA mapping—all that stuff has been created or vastly improved because of computer science.”

Camp came to Mines in 1998; since then she has moved up in her role from assistant to full professor. She currently teaches the introduction to programming course, Programming Concepts in C++. In her class, students develop a final project related to a topic they’re passionate about, such as a game or data storage utility.

Looking at Camp’s resume (25 pages of grants, awards, and publications), you might assume she knew at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher, but that wasn’t the case. Although she loved logic and math as a child, she didn’t have any interest in teaching. It wasn’t until she was ready to graduate from Michigan State University with her master’s degree in computer science that her parents encouraged her to pursue a PhD.

After receiving a PhD in computer science from the College of William and Mary, Camp began working at the University of Alabama. A few years later, she and her husband decided to move west, and Camp wanted to work at a smaller school. So, they pulled out a map of the United States, and Camp applied to four schools. Although she received three interview offers, she only accepted one of them: Mines.

When she’s not teaching, Camp is focused on three areas: technical research, educational research, and women in computing. In total, her research projects have received more than $20 million in external funding. She has been awarded more than 20 grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including a prestigious NSF CAREER award.

Camp is an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Fellow, and recently, she also became an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow for her contributions to wireless networking. “Within my research area, there are only eight women that are both ACM and IEEE fellows,” Camp said. “I am the first ACM fellow at Mines and the first IEEE female fellow at Mines. We need more!”

The lack of women in Camp’s field is something she works on here at Mines. “Research shows that a diverse team creates a better product, so we need diverse teams. And to accomplish that, we need more women at the table,” she said.

To that end, Camp works with the CRA-W (Computing Research Association—Women). She also serves as the faculty advisor for the ACM women’s student chapter at Mines, through which she founded “Discovering Technology,” an after-school STEM program for elementary school girls that includes computer science education. Approximately 300 girls in grades 3-6 visit Mines each semester to learn about a different science and engineering topic. The program has been so successful that Camp is expanding it to include a separate day for girls in grades 7-8.

“We’re currently at about 13 percent female computer science undergraduate students at Mines, which is a bit less than the roughly 15 percent national average,” Camp said. “My goal is to move Mines to 25 percent women in both the computer science major and the computer science minor by 2020.”

 

Contact:

Kathleen Morton, Digital Media & Communications Manager / 303-273-3088 / kmorton@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations / 303-273-3541 / kgilbert@mines.edu

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