Stephen F. Austin State University

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Limited enrollment available in SFA's STEM Research and Learning Center's Investigations in Math and Science Academy

June 12, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
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 of the Investigations in Math and Science Academy is to get students excited about STEM disciplines in a way that enthuses 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 SFA's College of Sciences and Mathematics. The camp consists of modules that cover chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics and physics basics.

"Each module is about three hours of hands-on learning, allowing students to not only experience math and science explorations, but to create a spark of interest in a possible future STEM career," Redfield added.

How do we stop a zombie outbreak in the chemistry lab? What do kidney stones, the planets, nuclear facilities and cannonballs have in common? How can we create something with a 3-D printer that is useful and artistic? The iMAS Academy answers these and similar questions over the course of five days.

In one module, students work in the chemistry lab to solve a zombie crisis using proven chemistry concepts and high-tech instrumentation. In another module, students explore the use of conic sections in the magic cone and discover its useful applications for the world. Students will also investigate Lanana Creek with biology faculty members and create and print objects on 3-D printers with engineering faculty members. The week culminates with a physics show, building "wigglebots" and a swim party at the SFA Student Recreation Center.

"So much goes into 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 grade-level appropriateness."

The 2017 iMAS Academy will be held from 8 a.m. to noon June 19 through 22 and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 on the SFA campus, Math Building, Room 101. The cost is $100 per attendee and includes the price of materials, snacks, prizes and a T-shirt. Visit cosm.sfasu.edu/stem/imas-academy to register.

Incoming seventh and eighth grade students currently enrolled at McMichael or Mike Moses Middle Schools may inquire about scholarship tuition for iMAS provided by Nacogdoches ISD. For more information, call the STEM Research and Learning Center at (936) 469-5814, or email stemcenter@sfasu.edu.