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NETL Education & Outreach Efforts Inspire Students

NETL’s K-12 STEM Education & Outreach team members facilitated active learning experiences at several elementary schools throughout September and October, fostering the next generation of energy experts through engaging activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. Additionally, ambassadors from the Lab’s STEM Ambassador program provided information about careers in energy to spread the Lab’s mission to secure and enhance the nation’s energy foundation while protecting the environment.

The Education & Outreach team brings exciting “hands-on, minds-on” programs to students located near NETL’s three sites in Morgantown, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Albany, Oregon. The program seeks to stimulate students’ and teachers’ interest in STEM and deliver important STEM content, as well as enhance children’s critical thinking skills and provide options for older students seeking careers in STEM.

NETL’s STEM Ambassador program bridges the gap between students and researchers at the Lab to provide more information about the many different paths toward a career in STEM. Ambassadors have hosted demonstrations, visited classrooms and highlighted educational and career opportunities to inspire the next generation of innovators and educate students and the public on the important research that goes on at NETL.

Brooke Intermediate School North (Follansbee, West Virginia) –Team members worked with students in third and fourth grades Sept. 12 and engaged them in an active learning experience titled “Roller Coasters,” which focused on emphasizing engineering, the engineering design process, design/redesign, problem-solving, construction and collaboration.

West Newton Elementary School (West Newton, Pennsylvania) – The team conducted programs Oct. 1 with students from second through fourth grades, engaging them throughout the day in active learning experiences that involved camouflage, the engineering design process and problem-solving, as well as understanding the difference between observations and inferences.

National Lab Day (Toledo, Ohio) – STEM Ambassadors Eilis Rosenbaum, Sean Sanguinito, Patricia Cvetic and Hari Paudel participated in the National Lab Day at the University of Toledo on Oct. 11 and interacted with high school students interested in STEM. The ambassadors presented a day-long program for 100 local students titled “Careers in STEM: Seeing Yourself at a DOE National Lab” to serve as an introduction to the jobs and types of research conducted at the national laboratories and illustrate the options available for a STEM career path. The program also included Q&A discussions, a DOE STEM fair and speed networking sessions with DOE interns, postdoctoral researchers and early career scientists.

Ringgold Elementary School North (Finleyville, Pennsylvania) – Fourth-grade students worked with team members Oct. 15 to explore the engineering design process, construction, collaboration and other topics with team members to further their knowledge of STEM principles.

Washington Park Intermediate School (Washington, Pennsylvania) – The team conducted a day-long program at with fifth graders Oct. 22 To teach students more about engineering topics, design/redesign and problem-solving through an active learning experience involving architecture.

Oregon State University Natural Sciences, Earth and Environmental Career Fair (Corvallis, Oregon) – STEM Ambassadors Peter Hsieh and Jessica Habjan participated in the career fair Oct. 23, which provided more than 250 OSU undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities to network with, seek information about and investigate internship and full-time employment opportunities with a number of private, corporate and government organizations. Hsieh and Habjan spoke to attendees and provided information about the Lab to interested students.

Elroy Elementary School (Brentwood, Pennsylvania) – The team explored camouflage, the relationship between predator and prey and other topics with students from third through fifth grades Oct. 29.

NETL’s mission to provide technology solutions for today and options for tomorrow begins by inspiring the next generation of innovators through STEM outreach efforts. Learn more about opportunities and activities here.