The world faces enormous technical challenges in the years ahead -- sustainable energy, food production, water supplies, to name a few. However, the US is not producing enough scientists and engineers. In fact, we are falling far behind other countries like China and India!
That's why UND and the SUNRISE project came up with a new interdisciplinary outreach program which brings science and technology to North Dakota's middle schools.
We need to engage students early on - by high school it is too late. This program will target middle school students The way we are going to do it is by teaching them about issues related to sustainable energy and global climate change. Though hands on experiments, we'll show them how scientists and engineers are working to develop solutions to these problems. Sustainable energy is a topic they already have exposure to, we need to show them how they can be part of the solution.
In the summer program, we will take our mobile lab out to rural schools and conduct 2 to 4 day programs which will be a mixture of instruction, demonstrations, and hands-on experiments. The mobile lab will have a media center, lab benches, fume hoods, etc. The experiments and instructional content will be developed by education and engineering students. Additional materials will be developed for middle school teachers to incorporate into their own lesson plans during the school year. The Dakota Science Center will be organizing and conducting the summer activities, along with student and community volunteers.
We're still in the process of constructing our mobile lab. If you're interested in scheduling a future visit, or you have questions, please contact Dr. Robert Wills at 701.777.2337