The first CAVIAT bioscience class to participate in the iCREATE project is from Williams High School. CAVIAT instructor and science educator Michael Lee (center photo) brought his students to NAU to tour three different laboratories on February 26th.
The students met in NAU's Wettaw building and toured the Imaging and Histology Core Facility (IHCF) with the Lab's Assistant Director Aubrey Funke (bottom left photo). Insects coated with gold (top center photo) are visualized with the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to see clear magnifications as small as 1/50th the width of a human hair! The students also saw the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and were able to use the Keyence Digital Microscope (photos left center and bottom right).
Dr. Nathan Nieto (right side, second photo down) showed the students his lab and the equipment they use to study the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in wild animals. They also study how this translates into transmission of disease to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. They use a mixture of microbiology, molecular biology, phylogenetics and population ecology to investigate infectious disease dynamics in wild animal populations. Much of their work is conducted on reservoirs or the identification of reservoir hosts. You can learn more by linking to Dr. Nieto's lab page here.
Dr. Robert Kellar (upper right photo) runs the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine (TERM) Laboratory in the Center for Bioengineering Innovation at NAU. He is also the founder and president of Development Engineering Systems housed at the Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (NACET) in Flagstaff. (www.des-company.com). His undergraduate, Masters, PhD, and Post Doctoral team were all available to showcase different aspects of bioengineering science.
The three-hour tour was immensely engaging and educational. Thank you all!
The iCREATE partnerships include NAU, TGen North, Coconino County Health Department, North Country Health Care, Northern Arizona Healthcare, and more!
Note: iCREATE wants you! Read more about the project here and if you are interested in partnering to provide increased opportunities for our talented youth in any bioscience field, please contact the STEM Coordinator!
iCREATE is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
Post written with significant contributions by Brent Nielson, CAVIAT Superintendent.
The CAVIAT Medical Professionals Foundation class includes students from four Flagstaff high schools as well as home school students. In addition to the Arizona State Board Skills Standards, her students have been collaborating with the Northern Arizona Health Education Center (NAHEC) to learn human body systems and how to teach the In-A-Box kits to local 4th to 6th grade students. The photos below are from a recent presentation in Michelle Despain's combined 4th-6th grade class at Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff.
Thank you to Dr. Rieck and her students, CAVIAT, and NAHEC, for this wonderful STEM collaboration!
Guest blog by Carrie Jenkins and Rick Treadway, 7th grade science teachers at Sinagua Middle School
On April 11, 2016 a group of 48 Sinagua Middle School 7th graders headed into Oak Creek Canyon for an afternoon of water testing at Slide Rock State Park. After eating lunch at the park, we walked to the Apple Barn where we watched a short documentary about Oak Creek called “Loved to Death: The Story of Oak Creek.” The video documented the 2014 Oak Creek Ambassador Program in which concerned citizens with the support of local university students from U of A, NAU, ASU, and the Friends of Oak Creek, removed large quantities of trash brought into the park and along the creek.
Oak Creek is claimed to be the 3rd purest water in the world at its source. However, the trash left behind by the hundreds of thousands of visitors each year directly impacts the water quality of Oak Creek and leads to increased levels of e. coli causing adverse effects to the local ecosystem. Under the direction of U of A microbiologists in a mobile laboratory the students tested E.coli bacteria levels, water flow rates, pH, turbidity, nitrates and dissolved oxygen. Students learned proper water sampling protocol, testing procedures and levels that indicate healthy conditions for organisms within the aquatic ecosystem. Most importantly, we learned that we can each be an ambassador for Oak Creek.
Thank you to the SFAz+8 Pathways grant through Coconino Community College for funding the bus for this fieldtrip!
Many people in our community believe deeply that investing in the next generation – our students – is essential to our future. As participants in the Flagstaff STEM City movement, we support the outstanding teachers who work daily to open doors and create challenging opportunities for our students. This week Flagstaff bids farewell to one of those outstanding teachers – Kaci Heins of Northland Preparatory Academy, who is departing to take an educational leadership position with NASA’s Space Center, Houston.
For the last 9 years, Kaci’s students from the Peak School, Mt. Elden Middle School, and NPA have flown high indeed. They have launched rockets; learned robotics and 3D printing; sent an experiment to the International Space Station; and created payloads for and released high altitude balloons to analyze myriad results. Kaci’s expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment to her students brought her recognition as our Flagstaff STEM Teacher of the Year, Arizona Middle School Science Teacher of the Year, Air Force Association National Aerospace Teacher of the Year, and this year’s Viola Award for Science Education.
STEM City recognizes that we must all work hard to support outstanding teachers who engage and mentor our students. Kaci is taking her talent to an incredible platform, developing programs to inspire students across the country the way she has inspired and challenged her Flagstaff students. Kaci always challenged her students and all of us to “Dare Mighty Things,” and she continues to lead by example. Please join us in thanking her for all that she has done for Flagstaff’s next generation. We’ll be eagerly watching, in cyberspace and elsewhere, for her next adventures in outer space!
Flagstaff STEM City
First paragraph courtesy of Cynthia Berger's blog from Engineering is Elementary, an award winning program developed by the Museum of Science, Boston. The darling image of young engineers is courtesy of the New York City's Department of Design and Construction.
“Building for You.” That’s the slogan of New York City’s Department of Design and Construction, which builds the civic facilities city dwellers use every day, from cultural institutions to police precincts to roads, sidewalks, and sewer systems. The agency employs hundreds of engineers, and city officials are thinking ahead to the next generation; recently, DDC launched the “Young Engineers” program with the goal of inspiring students to consider careers in the built environment. At the center of this initiative is a middle-school afterschool program that uses Engineering is Elementary’s “Engineering Everywhere” curriculum. This short video shows some of the exciting outcomes!
What is STEM City doing?
FUSD has Engineering is Elementary curriculum in all ten of its elementary schools! STEM City has EiE kits available for loan to Out-of-School Time groups, including the two kits highlighted in the EiE blog that were used by the NYC DDC "Building for You" program. STEM City kits are available to Flagstaff schools and educational groups. See the resources we have available here.
STEM doesn't stop on the weekends in STEM City! Saturday, April 2nd was busy for families taking kids to Home Depot for the kids workshop, and then they wore their orange aprons to Willow Bend Environmental Education Center for Science Saturday: Energy!
NAU's Wind for Schools program was there to help kids make their own wind turbine, and to showcase their entry for the upcoming United States Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition. Kelly Paduchowski demonstrated Prometheus Solar's Plug n Play solar system, and Findlay Toyota shared the insides of the new Prius.
Clockwise from top left: Kelly Paduchowski with Prometheus Solar has Rowen Mahoney use solar power to run electronics; NAU Senior mechanical engineering student Michael Wertz explains their wind turbine entry; Michael Jaramillo of Findlay Auto uses his truck-based grill to feed the crowd; and NAU's Wind for School group at Willow Bend.
The next stop was the City of Flagstaff's Sustainability Program Fix-it Clinic at Local Works. Thank you to Local Works for donating the space and thanks to our wonderful fixers for donating their Saturday to help 70 community members with 88 broken items. We had an 80% fix rate!
On Sunday, the Museum of Northern Arizona, showed "Navajo Math Circles", a film by George Csicsery about the Navajo Math Circles project. You can see a preview of the film here and learn more about this successful and unique math education project here that empowers students in math and in life!
Did you miss these? Check the STEM Events Calendar to find local STEM happenings to attend! The next Kids Workshop at Home Depot will be Saturday, May 7th from 9-12 and they will be making birdhouses. You can register here.
The next Saturday Science Day at Willow Bend will be the same day from 9 am - 1 pm (show up anytime) and will have hands-on activities exploring the Rio de Flag!
Flagstaff STEM Coordinator