students with Dr. C.J. Aul during the iMAS Academy

Students worked with Dr. C.J. Aul, assistant professor in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy, to design crash cars in an engineering physics module during iMAS Academy, hosted by SFA’s STEM Research and Learning Center.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Students participating in a recent Stephen F. Austin State University science academy spent the week learning to charge cell phones with fruits and vegetables, assessing the geological stability of houses, solving crimes through computer coding, building rockets and designing vehicle collision safety systems.

SFA’s STEM Research and Learning Center hosted 59 area students for iMAS Academy, an interactive learning experience designed to teach students about STEM fields. Students worked throughout the week with SFA faculty members and master teachers to explore chemistry, computer science, geology, engineering and physics. High school students, including members of SFA’s STEM Academy, assisted as volunteer leaders.

“iMAS Academy expands student knowledge of what is involved in a particular STEM field or career,” said Dr. Jana Redfield, assistant director of the STEM Research and Learning Center. “The intent of the investigations is to expose students to skills used by chemists, computer scientists, geologists and engineers in ways that make the disciplines real and applicable, not just something they read or hear about.”

Partnering with the center, Suddenlink by Altice provided scholarships for 10 students to attend the academy.

“We are continually amazed at the commitment of the SFA faculty in training our STEM innovators of the future and are proud to play a small part by providing these scholarships,” said Curt Allison, Suddenlink community engagement specialist. “It is obvious that our future is in good hands.”

For more information about the STEM Research and Learning Center, visit