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CEAS Team Helps Energize Wyoming Students, Teachers

January 11, 2019
Man uses homemade air cannon for science experiment
CEAS Outreach Ambassador Chris Rumple shows off a homemade air cannon at a classroom visit. (Chris Rumple photo)

The University of Wyoming College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Outreach team continued to energize the state's youth and teachers in fall 2018.

Members traveled to schools or hosted students on the UW campus to explore the different fields of engineering through hands-on discovery. In fall 2018, the team worked with more than 1,300 students in elementary through high school to learn about topics such as architectural and civil engineering, land surveying, biomedical engineering, petroleum engineering and computer science.

Recently, outreach team members Chris Rumple (mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate) and Sara Bashir (civil and architectural engineering senior) visited students at Wyoming Indian High School and Lander Middle School. During the program, the middle-and high-school students learned how engineers can directly and indirectly help people who suffer from medical issues. They were introduced to the engineering design process through a challenge to develope a pill coating that could withstand an acidic environment to simulate the digestive system. Using basic household items, including flour, cornstarch, candy and sugar, students developed and tested their pill prototypes.

Attendees also explored the similarities between the scientific method and engineering process by examining Bernoulli's principle, which relates the pressure of a fluid to its elevation and speed. Rumple engaged students in this topic by creating his very own air cannon. Teachers provided feedback from the event, saying it was engaging and group oriented.

"The positive impact of this type of outreach programming continues to strengthen and gain traction with school groups," CEAS Outreach Coordinator Teddi Freedman says.

With the completion of a very busy and rewarding fall semester, the outreach team now looks forward to the spring. Members will continue weekly efforts and coordination of classroom and campus visits to reach more Wyoming students and help them realize their potential for success in science, technology, engineering and math.

  • In February, the CEAS will host the annual Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) Competition and Engineers Week programs. TEAMS is a national competition that encourages high-school students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the test through design challenges. Eleven teams are currently registered to participate.
  • The CEAS will kick off the fourth annual Engineers Week on Feb. 17-23, which is a free statewide program that invites professional engineers to visit third-grade classrooms. This year’s event is generously sponsored by Union Wireless and with the support, it is anticipated that more than 3,500 third-grade students from across the state will engage in the program
  • Other outreach events coming up include the Wyoming State MathCounts Competition hosted by the CEAS on March 9, followed by the CEAS support of the Wyoming State Science Fair, participation in the WY State Skills USA Conference in April, and Women in STEM Conference in May.

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