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ETIC grant to OSU helps Oregon summer camps with hands-on science and engineering kits

Contacts:

India Sloat, COSEY coordinator, OSU Precollege Programs, india.sloat@oregonstate.edu, (541) 737-5231

Bruce Schafer, Director of ETIC, Oregon University System, Bruce_Schafer@ous.edu, (503) 725-2915

Camps will teach more engineering activities with help from OSU and the state engineering council

(May 31, 2011) With the help of a grant from the Oregon Engineering and Technology Industry Council, Oregon State University’s Center for Outreach in Science and Engineering for Youth (COSEY) is helping summer camps across the state infuse more science & engineering into their curriculum.  Local camps serving 5th -8th graders will include newly developed programming with a theme of sustainability, in an effort to prepare and inspire more students to enter exciting science and engineering fields. Please see the attached press release for details.

COSEY has developed a library of project-based activity kits with a sustainability theme (solar cell cars, wind power, oil spill clean-up, electricity generation and more) that will be used to engage 5th-8th grade students in multi-day summer camps to be held in communities throughout Oregon this summer.  The outreach program is partnering with Boys and Girls Clubs, 4-H programs, Oregon GEAR UP programs, and other extracurricular and summer camp organizations to expand opportunities in science and engineering education to diverse students across the state, focusing on programs with a track record for serving rural and underserved students.  

Through this partnership, trained college student instructors are delivering summer camps over the course of two summers, and will reach approximately 700 students in locations ranging from Ontario to Coos Bay.  The activity kits are rich with possibilities, including a mock oil spill activity in which students test substances that can remove oil from water, a homemade solar panel lesson in which students use titanium dioxide and berry juice to generate an electrical current, a computer design lesson in which students use innovative software to create a “green” dream home, and much more. The activity kits developed in this project will also serve as valuable long-term resources for out-of-school programs and educators who can borrow them through the COSEY lending library.

This project is a collaborative effort between youth outreach organizations at OSU, Boys and Girls Clubs in Corvallis and Salem, and 4-H International Summer Camps. The OSU organizations are: the Center for Outreach in Science and Engineering for Youth (COSEY) within the Office of Precollege Programs, the Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory and Saturday Academy.   The summer camps include: Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis; OSU Engineering Camp; Sweet Home Junior High; La Pine Middle School; Boys and Girls Club of Salem Wipper Teen Center; North Marion Middle School; 4-H, Latino Style Summer Camp, in Salem; and Coffenberry Middle School, in South Umpqua. Students and families interested in benefiting from these exciting camps can go to http://oregonstate.edu/precollege/summerprogramsmiddle.html for more information.

The Oregon University System (OUS) and the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) awarded OSU’s COSEY a $99,619 grant in 2009 for the two-year program, as part of their “Bright Future” grants aimed to increase pre-college engineering initiatives and programs for K-12 students. These grants are one component of ETIC’s goal to increase engineering and computer science graduates in order to meet state and industry needs for a highly-skilled, globally competitive workforce in Oregon.

Bruce Schafer, executive director of ETIC says, “We are very excited to support expanded hands-on activities for students in pre-engineering across the state this summer. Oregon’s industries need future innovators in science and engineering.  Exposing talented young people to the real-world applications in science can open their eyes to the fun, relevance, and many opportunities in science careers.”

— OUS –

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu