Discipline: Technology & Engineering
Subcategory: STEM Science and Mathematics Education
Messaoud Bahoura - Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA
Co-Author(s): Aswini Pradhan
In 2008, we initiated a partnership between Norfolk State University (NSU) Center for Material Research and the Children’s Museum of Virginia (CMV). The CMV strategic location in Portsmouth allowed reaching out to a diverse and multicultural audience, notably underserved students from Portsmouth are African American, of low socio-economic status. With the leverage for resources from the NSF-NISE network (Nanoscale Informal Science Education) and the NSF-CREST were able to reach thousands of children. The goal of the program is to increases public awareness, engagement and understanding of the nanoscale, engineering and technology, informs the public about scientific advancements, and shares the passion of science with the community. The program brought undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff, educators, and volunteering from different departments at NSU, Old Dominion University, College of Williams, and Jefferson Laboratory to bring these exciting hands on activities to the Children Museum year after year. The program engages people of all ages in a miniscule world where materials have special properties and new technologies have remarkable promise. The number of volunteers increased each year and the program was an icon in the CMV top outreach programs. We used a multitude of techniques to engage the public, from hands on activities and poster to interactive games and scavenger hunt. We report on offered activities, best practices in training volunteers and partnering with other institutions. We show statistics of served populations and collected public surveys feedback. In addition, we share successful integration of Nano activities into the CMV summer camp framework. The camp served a varying ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds. One week was offered to an underserved 5th grade class from a school in Portsmouth, VA, which had previously struggled in passing standardized science tests.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF-CREST (CNBMD) Grant number HRD 1036494. NSF-CREST (CREAM) Grant number HRD 1547771. NISE Network supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143.
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,