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CEAS Outreach Team Reaches State’s Youth

November 8, 2018
Students examine a scale-model pumpjack
The CEAS promotes outreach efforts to reach Wyoming's youth and encourage participation in STEM.

It’s been a busy fall for the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s K-12 outreach group at the University of Wyoming, as it connected with students across the state to engage them in engineering concepts.

A recent program included working with fifth-grade teachers and students from Slade Elementary School in Laramie, Wyo., to design an original and functional trick-or-treat candy bag. Students worked in teams over the course of three weeks to develop and test prototypes. Based upon their test results and discussion, they chose the bag that met the design constraints and held the most weight, which was more than 11 pounds of candy. A student in the program provided feedback: “You taught me how to work with a team, that you can restart as many times as you fail, you can always improve, and you can give your ideas to other people and they will make it better.”

The team traveled to Guernsey, Wyo., to engage with students in grades 5-8. Over the course of the day, the students explored topics in computer, electrical, chemical, and environmental engineering.

“It was great to see the student’s level of engagement in exploring new and challenging content,” CEAS Outreach Coordinator Teddi Freedman says. “Our team looks forward to working with the students and teachers from Guernsey again, as a member of the school’s administration told us to keep doing the program because it was a great experience for the students.”

November’s activities included a partnership program in Rawlins, Wyo. Sarita Talusani Keller, the UW Ann Simpson Artmobile Educator, and Freedman joined forces to offer a program for students and teachers from Rawlins Middle School. The daylong program reached 96 students to engage in “deep looking” and through a hands-on activity, explored how engineers and artists work together to create the “built” environment. The connections went across curriculum between the Wyoming State Science Standards and Visual Art Content and Performance Standards to encourage deep and meaningful learning. Keller and Freedman plan to continue to collaborate with schools across the state to offer the unique learning experience.

Since September, the CEAS outreach team has engaged with more than 300 students.

“We look forward to continuing to connect with K-12 classrooms to inspire the next generation of engineers,” Freedman says.

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