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Science Night at Whittle Springs a Success

February 23rd, 2012

DSCN1413-v2.pngCURENT (Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks), and the East Tennessee Discovery Center teamed up on Tuesday (Feb. 21st) to host a Science Night at Whittle Springs Middle School. An estimated 230 students and parents were on hand to participate in the event.

“This is about getting young students and parents to have conversations about science—it’s about adding family engagement into the equation,” said Andrea Allen, the Science Instructional Coach for Knox County Schools.

The 6th-8th grade students were free to wander through the gymnasium and explore the hands-on exhibits. They had the chance to extract DNA from strawberries, play with robots created by UT graduate students, and explore alternative energy with panels and vehicles that use solar energy.

Science Night was created as part of CURENT's educational mission to inspire young students to learn about math, science, technology, and engineering. This event also focused on encouraging parents to participate in science activities with their children. The collaboration with the Discovery Center provided a large variety of science activities and exhibits, as well.

“Encouraging STEM (science, math, engineering, & technology) education shouldn't be an individual job; it needs to be a community-wide effort,” said Dr. Chien-fei Chen, Co-Director of Education & Diversity in CURENT. “Working with the Discovery Center was a great example of community collaboration to deliver more science-related activities to students at an early age.”

The event was coordinated by Dr. Chen and Adam Hardebeck from CURENT, Margaret Maddox, Director of ETDC, Andrea Allen, and Dr. Jill Hobby and Sharon Harder from Whittle Springs.

CURENT is a collaboration between academia, industry, and national laboratories headquartered on the UT, Knoxville campus. The center is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.CURENT-Logo_Transparent-tiny.png


For more information about this event, or future outreach events, please contact Adam Hardebeck at ahardebe@utk.edu.


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