2/26/14 Schools create science partnerships

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North Carolina State University graduate student Adam Morgan (right) show Woodlawn Middle School students last Friday how they will take an electric grid and make it work like electricity over the Internet.

Karen Carter/Mebane Enterprise

North Carolina State University graduate student Adam Morgan (right) show Woodlawn Middle School students last Friday how they will take an electric grid and make it work like electricity over the Internet.

Schools create science partnerships
By KAREN CARTER, Enterprise Editor, The Mebane Enterprise 2/26/14  
Reprinted with permission.


North Carolina State University (NCSU) graduate students are teaching middle school students about renewable energy with a variety of hands-on classroom experiments.

Last Friday, it was Woodlawn Middle School’s turn to participate in the program with students from the science classes of Kristen Riley performing experiments in the media center under the direction of the graduate students.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has partnered with the Alamance-Burlington Schools and the Free Renewable Electrical Energy Management (FREEDM) Systems Center program at NCSU to provide the hands-on science activities at the middle schools.

The National Science Foundation has funded a five-year, $7.3 million initiative that encourages scientists and teachers to engage North Carolina’s middle school students in exploring the natural world, said Jenny Faulkner, public information officer for the Alamance-Burlington Schools.

Dr. Rob Dunn, Associate Professor of Biology at NC State University is leading the five-year effort along with involvement in the project from the NC State’s Kenan Fellows Program, Science House and Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, as well as the NC Museum of Natural Science, said Faulkner.

Alamance-Burlington Schools is one of seven school districts in the state of North Carolina to have middle school teacher Kenan Fellows participating in the program, said Faulkner.

Outreach programs include a week-long summer camp for middle school students, a five-week young scholars program for high school students, and a five-week program called Research Experiences for science teachers, said Liz Parry, at Woodlawn Middle School last Friday. She handles the outreach for the Engineering Place, NC State University.

“Our job is to help science teachers teach,” said Parry. She explained that the opportunities go way beyond what folks have traditionally thought of as teaching engineering.

The program is designed to help students solve problems using math and science as tools.