NIMBioS hosted two events for middle school students last week that resulted in over 100 students, parents and teachers visiting the institute. On the agenda were fun activities to inspire students to pursue higher education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The first event was a field trip by 7th graders from Greenback School in Loudon County, TN, which brought 60 students and three teachers for a day learning about biodiversity and computer image analysis, touring the university library, and building windmills and doing engineering lab tours at CURENT, an engineering center across campus.
NIMBioS also co-hosted SHADES, Sharing Adventures in Engineering & Science, a STEM symposium for 6th and 7th grade girls. The annual event organized by the Greater Knoxville Math/Science Coalition had 34 student participants from the greater Knoxville area, plus parents, Girl Scout Troop leaders, and teachers. Volunteers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Tennessee, NIMBioS, and TNSCORE all contributed activities. Highlights included T-shirt chromatography, using Geiger counters, and an engineering competition using fuel cell model cars.
A number of NIMBioS volunteers contributed to the event by helping out the Education & Outreach staff. Special thanks to Eric Carr, NIMBioS HPC Specialist, for putting together a great activity on image analysis, to volunteer helpers and NIMBioS postdoctoral fellows Amiyaal Ilany, Elizabeth Hobson, Jeremy Beaulieu and NIMBioS graduate assistant Ben Levy.