Hands on FutureTech
Each year, the CCE has co-sponsored the Hands on FutureTech diversity outreach event at Georgia Tech. Beginning as an event for minority middle school boys, we've now expanded into two events – one for minority boys and one for minority girls. Each year, hundreds of local Atlanta minority middle school students participated in hands-on demonstrations and other STEM related activities. The purpose of this event is to make STEM disciplines and concepts understandable, relevant, interesting, and applicable in students’ everyday lives. Discussions during the event emphasized and encouraged students to take the most appropriate math and science courses now to prepare for a STEM high school curriculum. The programs also included parents’ sessions, college/career panels and STEM role models discussing STEM careers and opportunities.
Adenine Synthesis in a Model Prebiotic Reaction – a high school lab experiment
Led by high school teacher Lakshmi Anumukonda, the Center published a lab experiment teaching TLC techniques in the contexts of origins of life chemistry, adenine synthesis in particular. The experiment was published in the Journal of Chemical Education. Download the experiment here.
Arts and Sciences in the Classroom
We have been fortunate enough to work with our artist collaborators to create experiences specific for high school audiences. The educational version of Group Intelligence is available for download here. The team behind The Encyclopedia Show has held several workshops for students to teach them to use poetry to explain difficult subjects – using the chemical origins of life as their material. We have also prepared coloring sheets from prints about the origin of life developed with Greg Bada.
Bringing Animations into the Classroom
Animations created with Stated Clearly are currently being assessed in informal environments, and a new assessment will be developed for formal environments like high school classrooms. Curricular accompaniments will be developed first for "What is DNA and how does it work?" "What is the RNA world hypothesis?" and "What was the Miller-Urey experiment?" The accompanying curricula will be produced in collaboration with educators and will have direct relevance to NGS science standards.
International Year of Chemistry – Day of Science
In collaboration with DeKalb County Schools in Georgia and Emory University, the CCE held a celebration of the International Year of Chemistry for 250 high school chemistry students and their teachers in 2011. The event contained demonstrations, a poster session given by Emory undergrads & graduate students, a panel on careers in chemistry, and a small science theater production by Out of Hand Theater on the chemical origins of life.
Chemistry Teacher Professional Development Workshop
The CCE organized a week-long high school chemistry teacher workshop in 2011, with 25 participants from all major public school counties in the Atlanta metro area. The teachers’ schools serve largely minority populations (ranging from 55-89%) and students who are eligible for free/reduced lunches range from 43-78%. The workshop was designed to help teachers learn innovative pedagogy in chemistry, and apply those learned practices to teaching cutting edge research concepts in the high school classroom. Sessions covered problem based learning (PBL) techniques and presentations on current research projects at Emory (including two connected to the CCE). After hearing the presentations, teachers were charged with developing lesson plans based on CCE and other chemistry research incorporating elements of PBL.