Stephen F. Austin State University


Limited enrollment available for SFA STEM Research and Learning Center's iMAS Academy

June 8, 2016 - University Marketing Communications
Participants in the Investigations in Math and Science Academy learn four basic skills used by nurses during a module that simulates an emergency room. A limited number of spaces are available to East Texas students entering seventh or eighth grade for this year's weeklong science, technology, engineering and mathematics iMAS camp hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University's STEM Research and Learning Center. The camp will be held June 20 through 24.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - A limited number of students can still enroll in a weeklong science, technology, engineering and mathematics camp hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University's STEM Research and Learning Center aimed at engaging East Texas students entering the seventh or eighth grade in hands-on STEM activities.

"The goal is to expose students to STEM disciplines in a way that excites them about the many possibilities in math and science," said Dr. Jana Redfield, assistant director of the SFA STEM Research and Learning Center, which is part of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. "Each module is about two hours and 45 minutes of hands-on learning, allowing students to not only be exposed to math and science concepts, but to create a spark of interest in a possible future STEM career."

What math concepts go into the construction of a rollercoaster? Who is the criminal behind a messy crime scene? Investigations in Math and Science, or iMAS, Academy answers these and similar questions during the course of five days. The camp consists of modules that cover chemistry, biology, nursing, engineering, mathematics and physics basics.

In one module, students engage in a crime scene investigation lab designed to simulate activities that take place in a forensic laboratory setting, including DNA glass fragment and chemical analyses. In another, students are exposed to the high-energy bustle of a hospital emergency room and learn four of many skills-blood loss estimation, aseptic techniques, cardiovascular and respiratory assessments, and virtual intravenous infusion. Students also will investigate effects of acid on eggshells using flat and carbonated root beer during the "Acid Attacks!" activity.

"So much goes in to the development of the curriculum for iMAS. The iMAS modules are designed to be student centered, hands-on and fun. They are initially written by STEM faculty members and area master teachers," Redfield said. "Once written, modules are reviewed for accuracy and science/math appropriateness for the grade level, then piloted during the school year to insure student engagement. Several of the modules created for this year's iMAS are brand new, such as the 3-D printing/engineering and rollercoasters. Others have been proven successful in past summer iMAS Academies."

New to iMAS camp is a rollercoaster module inviting participants to explore mathematical concepts as they design and build paper rollercoasters from cardstock. The science of motion and the financial literacy component of budgeting and cost analysis also will be explored.

A second new module will utilize state-of-the-art 3D printers acquired by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. In the module, students will create and build a pair of interlocking rings using a computer-aided design program.

The 2016 iMAS Academy will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, June 20-24, on the SFA campus. The cost is $100 per attendee and includes the price of materials, snacks, prizes and a T-shirt. Visit to register.