NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 200 students in grades K-8 from Davidson County and surrounding areas recently took part in a NASA-funded, one-day STEM education workshop at Tennessee State University.
Called “Dare to Dream STEM Saturday,” the workshop engaged students in scientific experiments, and engineering design processes, such as robotics, coding, drones, virtual reality, flight simulation and math games.
The TSU College of Education, in partnership with Metro Nashville Public Schools, hosted the workshop under the Minority University Research Education Project, or MUREP, a NASA program at the university.
Led by TSU undergraduate STEM students and MNPS teachers, the workshop included a Family Engagement component that allowed parents to engage their children in the various projects.
“Dare to Dream STEM Saturday was designed to celebrate minority innovators in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dr. Trinetia Respress, director of the TSU MUREP project and interim assistant dean of Assessment and Accreditation in the COE. “It was very rewarding to see students and parents engaged in brainstorming in various activities.”
Among some of the activities, students used an engineering process to build a structure that could handle a load, by testing factors affecting the strength and stability of the structure. Using a template, the students also created a rocket that they launched from a soda straw.
Shaliyah Brooks, a junior English major, from Atlanta, was one of the TSU students who led the workshop. As a technology specialist for the workshop, she exposed the students to robots through demonstrations on how they work, using devices such as parents’ personal phones or tablets.
“I definitely think that the students were excited to be there,” Brooks said. “They got a chance to play all day and in a way that was educational. They were very hands-on working with their parents.”
For more information on the Tennessee Minority University Research and Education Project at TSU, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/murep/about.aspx
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