July 18, 2011 — Science projects are not just for fourth grade. Professionals who enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can dedicate their whole careers to science projects, thus leading to innovation and economic growth. The question facing educators is how to get students excited about going into those fields?
Thanks to a $500,000 gift from Chevron, CSUB is able to help local K-12 schools invigorate students through the STEM Student Center. Much of that gift - $400,000 – is paying for an annual summer science program for both students and teachers that kicks off today.
In its fifth year, REVS-UP (Research Experience Vitalizing Science – University Program) groups 89 high school students and 25 high school teachers with CSUB faculty and students to work for four weeks on science-related research projects. Projects cover areas of biology, chemistry, computer science, earth system science, geology, math and physics. Some of the research includes antimalarial drug development, digital watermarking to protect images and videos, robotics design and programming, predicting valley fever outbreaks using satellite image tracking of environmental changes, and analyzing sediment cores from local groundwater sources.
"These projects will give the participants the opportunity to learn how research is done and that they are very capable of participating in it," said Dr. Andreas Gebauer, REVS-UP director and chair of the chemistry department at CSUB. "High school students and teachers will obtain hands-on experience on modern instrumentation and with modern research techniques, something they would never be able to experience in the K-12 setting."
In the process, high school students earn university credit that hopefully will start them on a career in a STEM field. High school teachers learn valuable research methods and activities they can take back to their classrooms and pass on to their students. Additionally, the program enables CSUB faculty to advance their research, and CSUB students get the opportunity to learn by teaching.
"It's absolutely critical for companies like Chevron to have a steady pipeline of young engineers and scientists in all the places we do business so we are always looking for effective ways to stimulate that interest," said Bruce Johnson, Vice President of San Joaquin Valley Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company.
Science fairs aren't just for fourth grade, either. REVS-UP culminates with a poster presentation and demonstration by each group at 2 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Student Union Multipurpose Room.
The media is invited to visit groups as they work on their research projects, which take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as well as attend the culminating event. To set up a visit, please contact Jennifer Burger, CSUB Public Affairs Coordinator, at (661) 654-2138 or email@example.com. For more information about REVS-UP visit www.csub.edu/stem.
For more information:Jennifer Burger
Media ContactColleen Dillaway, Director of Public Affairs & Communications