Mines physics students bring “STEM museum” to middle school students

GOLDEN, Colo., April 13, 2015 – Members of the Society of Physics Students at Mines are doing their part to cultivate the next generation of scientists and engineers, particularly young people from historically underrepresented groups.

On April 7, 21 students traveled to Berry Creek Middle School in Edwards, about 100 miles west of Golden, as part of their Future Faces of Physics outreach program. Throughout the school day, they staffed 10 museum stations featuring hands-on demonstrations that they designed and constructed.

All 376 6th- through 8th-graders at Berry Creek visited the STEM Museum, passing through in small groups that allowed for close interaction with Mines students. The museum stations covered kinematics, momentum, fluid dynamics, pressure, robotics, circuits, electricity, magnetism, optics, and waves.

SPS members also talked about the value of higher education, and career options in engineering and applied science.

“Berry Creek serves underprivileged and underrepresented students that typically do not have the family support structure or history of pursuing a college education,” said Physics Teaching Professor Chuck Stone, SPS advisor.

After the school day, 30 BCMS students were chosen for a “make-and-take” seminar, where they worked with modeling clay and built small motors that they were able to bring home.

In another highlight, Berry Creek Dean of Students Shannon Grant lay down on a bed of nails and allowed an SPS member to smash with a sledgehammer the cinder block she held on her chest

SPS’ outreach program has been supported by grants from the national organization, and the group’s own fundraising.

 

Contact:
Mark Ramirez, Communications Specialist, College of Applied Science & Engineering | 303-384-2622 | ramirez@mines.edu
Karen Gilbert, Director of Public Relations, Colorado School of Mines | 303-273-3541 | kgilbert@mines.edu

 

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