Morgantown, W.Va. —
On May 6, 2010, scientists, engineers, and other volunteers from various sites at NETL will bring science to local middle schools in South Park, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Fairmont, WV; and Albany, OR.
NETL volunteers will lead fifth-grade students at South Park (Pa.) Middle School in a series of hands-on science experiments meant to excite the students about science and interest them in future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The students will explore topics such as polymerization, crystallization, and acid-base chemistry in an environment that engages both their hands and minds.
Volunteers from the NETL site in Albany, OR, will spend the day at Memorial Middle School and present two activities to seven different 6th grade science classes. The first activity involves creating a fruit battery by inserting two dissimilar metal strips into an acidic fruit and connecting the strips with a wire. A multimeter, also known as a volt/ohm meter, will measure the voltage and current created. The second activity is a liquid nitrogen demonstration that will show students the cooling property of liquid nitrogen and what affect it has on various materials when they are immersed in it.
NETL's demonstration at South Park Middle School will be webcast live to West Fairmont Middle School in Fairmont, WV, and Brentwood Middle School in Pittsburgh, PA. To reach additional students and teachers, a video of the demonstration will be posted on the NETL website following the event.
These events are part of a nationwide celebration of National Lab Day, an educational initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Energy that brings science, engineering, and technology professionals into classrooms across the country to inspire students and assist educators in teaching science, technology, engineering, and math.
President Obama has said that "the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow." National Lab Day will help bring to fruition the President's stated goals of moving American students to the top of the pack in science and math education while expanding science, technology, engineering, and math education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups.