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Wichita State News

WSU to host nine-day science program for local students

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Cargill Cares is helping more than 900 elementary and middle school students participate in “JASON Days: Terminal Velocity” at Wichita State University on Sept. 21-Oct. 1.

For a complete schedule, go to http://www.wichita.edu/j/?1830.

The nine-day science program is a kickoff event for local teachers who use the JASON Project curriculum, a standards-based science program created by explorer, Titantic discoverer and native Wichitan, Robert Ballard.

“JASON brings science alive by exposing students to real-world scientists and work they do in the field through hands-on exploration and discovery,” said Amy Strong, assistant director of the Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education at WSU and JASON program manager. “Teachers love the event because of the way it exposes their students to real-world science and local scientists.”

Teachers incorporate the JASON project curriculum, aligned with the National and State Science Education Standards, in their classrooms throughout the year. Each year, WSU hosts JASON Days to give students the opportunity to meet active, local scientists and apply what they have learned in various events.

Students will meet WSU physics professor Jason Ferguson and WSU National Institute for Aviation Research crash dynamics lab manager Robert Huculak.

Force and motion

This year’s program will focus on force and motion. In the showcase event, students will compete in “Hot Wheels Fabricators” and will build a successful racetrack complete with loops and jumps. They will also create a piece of art called a wind wheel, which works by the forces of nature. Finally, they will test their academic knowledge by playing “Force and Motion Bingo.”

“It’s a great learning experience and a lot of fun for the students to spend the day on the WSU campus,” said Strong. “One of our activity leaders, Maggy Botros, was selected through an international competition to be on the mission team as a JASON national argonaut. She traveled to the Jet Propulsion Lab, the Gulf of Mexico, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology to learn about force and motion and help JASON host researchers with hands-on research.”

Botros will appear in print and video components of the curriculum, and will be on-site during the event to share her experiences with local students. She will also facilitate the “Hot Wheels Fabricators” activity station.

The Kansas JASON Project has partnered with Wichita State’s Ulrich Museum of Art, which provides bus funding for the JASON Days event. All students will have the opportunity to tour the Ulrich and learn about the connection between art and science.

WSU’s participation in the JASON Project is funded by Excel/Cargill Cares, the Cargill Contributions Committee and the Toyota USA Foundation.

The Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University houses the JASON project and the Fairmount Center for Science and Mathematics Education. Fairmount College offers majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and programs of professional training.

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Created on Wednesday, September 19, 2012; Last modified on Wednesday, September 19, 2012