July 13, 2009 - Increasing student interest in mathematics and science is one of the biggest challenges to creating a skilled work force in these fields. California State University, Bakersfield, with the help of Chevron, is working to bridge that gap by creating a program that will pique the interest of students and rejuvenate science teachers by offering hands-on research experience.
The Research Experience Vitalizing Science - University Program (REVS-UP) teams kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and high school students with CSUB students and faculty to conduct research projects in biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and physics. The research is designed to increase the interest of students and teachers in science and mathematics related careers. The four-week program is funded by a grant from Chevron and runs through Thursday, Aug. 6.
"The United States faces a severe shortage of students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields," said Andreas Gebauer, director of the STEM program. "The shortage threatens the world-leading role of the U.S. in science. REVS-UP addresses part of this problem by providing high school students opportunities to participate in research projects to teach them fundamentals and get them excited about science."
This year 50 high school students and 11 high school teachers have taken on research projects that include examining pirate spiders, understanding the evolution of peg-like setae, constructing robotics, and learning to incorporate household chemicals into middle and high school science curricula.
"This year's projects are as exciting as in the past two years," Gebauer said. "Participants will be able to explore diverse topics that include studying patterns that are caused by sound waves, building a spectrophotometer using a DVD, and the analysis of compounds that make some peppers hotter than others. Our participants get a first-hand experience of the research process. We remember from our own experience that this hands-on participation is what hooked us and convinced us to study science."
Research results will be presented at a reception on Thursday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Science I building.
For more information:Andreas Gebauer
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications