UNR engineering students bring energy research to K-12 classes

University of Nevada, Reno mechanical engineering researcher and associate professor Kam Leang, right, watches today as eighth-grade students at Mendive Middle School conduct an experiment with metallic salts. Their teacher Nick Nemsgren keeps a close eye as the students observe and record the flame test experiments that examine electron energy by heating strontium chloride to release light quantum, or photon energy, in the form of colored light. The class is one of six in the Washoe County School District that are a part of a National Science Foundation funded $1.2 million program to encourage science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in K-12 schools. Photo by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno. (Mike Wolterbeek, All rights reserved.)
University of Nevada, Reno mechanical engineering researcher and associate professor Kam Leang, right, watches today as eighth-grade students at Mendive Middle School conduct an experiment with metallic salts. Their teacher Nick Nemsgren keeps a close eye as the students observe and record the flame test experiments that examine electron energy by heating strontium chloride to release light quantum, or photon energy, in the form of colored light. The class is one of six in the Washoe County School District that are a part of a National Science Foundation funded $1.2 million program to encourage science, technology, engineering and math curriculum in K-12 schools. Photo by Mike Wolterbeek, University of Nevada, Reno. (Mike Wolterbeek, All rights reserved.)
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Updated: 11/05/2012 3:32 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Graduate students at the University of Nevada, Reno are in middle and high school this fall, working with teachers to present their energy-related science and engineering research to students.

With a $1.2 million grant awarded to the College of Engineering from the National Science Foundation, doctoral students will be providing valuable training in teaching, mentoring and communicating science and technology to the local schools.

The innovative curriculum, supported by the NSF’s “Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education” (GK-12) program, engages K-12 teachers and students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The University’s undertaking has a slight twist, and is named “GK-12 E-Fellowship Program,” where the “E” stands for energy.

This three-year endeavor is meant to inspire interest in STEM. Six University graduate students are matched each year with STEM teachers in four Washoe County School District schools. Through inquiry- and project-based activities, they will encourage middle and high school students to ask questions that lead them to their own discovery of knowledge and exploration of science.

As part of the program, a traveling energy science/technology lab, the E-Mobile, will be outfitted with energy-related demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on projects (some created by fellow/teacher partners and students) to excite students and the community about engineering.

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