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Sylvania’s STEM activities seek to attract broad audience and emphasize fun in science

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In an effort to raise awareness about science, technology, engineering and mathematics – also known as STEM – Sylvania Campus will host two weeks of STEM activities, from Feb. 15 through Feb. 29. Its Science and Engineering division has organized the two-week Sylvania event and is supporting STEM activities at other campuses, as well.

“Increasing the number of students in STEM majors reflects the college’s support of a nationwide, federal effort to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement, over the next decade,” said Dieterich Steinmetz, dean of Sylvania’s Science and Engineering division.

“The key is to make these activities fun and accessible to a variety of would-be STEM students, not just those who enjoy math or engineering. We want to explicitly connect the content of the activities to students’ everyday lives. Art, literature, wine, sustainability . . . science is linked to all of these, in a variety of ways; our task is to get students connecting those dots,” said Steinmetz.

Over the two weeks there will be a broad offering of presentations and workshops open to all PCC students, faculty and staff. Topics range from urban agriculture and sustainability, to architecture and design, bridge building, a balloon rocket competition, “engineers without borders” – and their efforts in Tanzania and Kenya, and much more. This STEM focus serves as a lead-in to National Engineers Week (Feb. 19-25) and the Oregon Academy of Science Annual Meeting, which will take place at Sylvania on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Following is an outline of confirmed STEM activities. For more information, contact Kate Chester, community relations manager, Sylvania Campus, at (971) 722-8233.

Wednesday, Feb. 15:

  • “Learning to Learn (webinar) – What will they remember in 5 years?” – Sylvania Teaching Learning Center, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Presenter: Gary Werth, Macalester College, mathematics and geochemistry
  • “Urban Agriculture and Sustainability” – Rock Creek, Building 5, Room 113, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Presenter: Gregory Monahan, Sylvania engineering
  • “Weltbilden (Worldview): A discussion of the sustainability work of Joanna Macy” – Sylvania South Classroom Building, Room 105, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Presenter: Shirlee Geiger, PCC philosophy
  • “Fuel Cell Technology: Workforce outlook and technical introduction” – Sylvania, College Center Building, Cedar Room, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Presenter: Tom Prevish, ClearEdge Technology

Thursday, Feb. 16:

  • “Terroir: Oregon wines and Oregon geology” – Sylvania Teaching Learning Center, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Presenter: Scott Burns, Portland State University, geology
  • “iClicker pedagogy and Quick-Start activity for student feedback and assessment” – Sylvania Teaching Learning Center, 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Presenters: Danijela Vukic and Patty Maazouz, Sylvania chemistry
  • “Toxic Water, Toxic Fish, and Social Justice” – Sylvania Science and Technology Building, Room 107, 3:15 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Presenter: Steven Kolmes, University of Portland, environmental sciences

Friday, Feb. 17:

  • “Northwest STEM Education Partnership: The Business Plan” – Sylvania, College Center Building, Pine Room, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Presenter: Bill Becker, Portland State University, Science Education Center

Monday, Feb. 20:

  • “NASA Space Scholarship winners” – Sylvania Cafeteria, center stage, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Presenters: Linda Gerber, Sylvania Campus president, and Toby Dittrich, Sylvania physics

Tuesday, Feb. 21:

  • “Bridge Building Competition” – Sylvania College Center Building, Upper Mall, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted by PCC’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology
  • “Balloon Rocket Competition” – Sylvania College Center Building, Upper Mall, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted by PCC’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering Technology

Thursday, Feb. 23:

  • “Science Club Experiments” – Locations vary, afternoon times vary.  Hosted by the PCC Science Club

Friday, Feb. 24:

  • “Citizen Science and Ecology” – At Portland State University, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hosted by Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland/Vancouver

Saturday, Feb. 25:

  • “Engineers without Borders: Efforts in Tanzania and Kenya” – Sylvania, College Center Building, Oak Room, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Presenter: Zachary Dunn, Oregon State University
  • “Glimpses of the World: Windows for Learning Science” – keynote address, Oregon Academy of Science Annual Meeting, Sylvania Cafeteria, 12:20 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. Presenter: Todd Duncan, Portland State University, Science Education Center

Monday, Feb. 27:

  • “Cellular Self-Portraiture” – Sylvania microscopy/cell biology laboratories, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Presenters: Angela Batchelor, Sylvania visual arts, and April Fong, Sylvania biology, as part of PCC Reads

Tuesday, Feb. 28:

  • “Green Jobs, Safe Jobs” (webinar) – Sylvania, Science and Technology Building,  Room 208, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hosted by Campus Ecology (National Wildlife Federation)

Wednesday, Feb. 29:

  • “Sustainability in the Curriculum” – Sylvania Teaching Learning Center, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted by Northwest Earth Institute

 

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