CETES Tech Night presents “Preparing Tomorrow’s STEM Workforce through Innovative Technology”

CETES Tech Night, presented by the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies at Cameron University, returns on Tuesday, February 10 at 6 p.m. This month’s session will focus on “Preparing Tomorrow’s STEM Workforce through Innovative Technology” and will be presented by the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering. Tech Night is open to the public at no charge and will take place this month in the Sciences Complex, Room 100. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by e-mail at sdunn@cameron.edu or by calling 581-5447.

This special edition of CETES Tech Night is designed for high school and middle school science teachers who are interested in using digital data collecting devices, for high school and middle school students, for parents who are interested in observing how new technology is used in preparing students for STEM careers, for industries who want to hire employees who are prepared for the digital age, and for anyone who wants to learn how a superconductor train works or how efficient their sunglasses are in filtering out UVA or UVB rays.

Faculty members from the Department of Chemistry, Physics and Engineering will share their approach to teaching science with technology. In looking for a dynamic way to teach science and STEM, faculty members adopted the Vernier Technology approach which puts easy-to-use data loggers, sensors, experiments and graphing/analysis software into the hands of students. It is considered a valuable approach to help develop the next generation of scientists and engineers. The method uses Vernier Lab Quest Data collection devices with associated probes to perform science experiments and collect data. These experiments enable students to collect data and use simple mathematical relationships to analyze the data by using associated Vernier software or by importing it into Excel.

Using Vernier technology, students ask questions and define problems to be investigated; plan and carry out investigations; decide what data are to be gathered and how much data are needed to produce reliable results; and analyze and interpret data.

The practices of engineering, when combined with Vernier sensors, allow students to identify problems, design solutions, and test those solutions using sensor data. Vernier supports hands-on engineering activities including engineering design projects, feedback and control projects, bridge testing and contests, structures and materials testing, and wind energy investigations and design challenges.

Additional scientific investigations and engineering activities utilizing Vernier sensors and software are computational thinking, data visualization and patterns recognition.

Digital tools such as Vernier sensors and graphing and analysis software enhance STEM curriculum by integrating technology that helps students to visualize data and build critical thinking skills. Introducing students to STEM by making connections to real-world issues helps to increase their understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts, cultivates an excitement for STEM programming and inspires students to consider a career in a STEM discipline.

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January 29, 2015

PR# 15-013