Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy

 

Date of this Version

January 1999

Comments

Rochelle Payne Ondracek and Diandra Leslie-Pelecky; Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education National Conference, Charlotte NC (1999). http://www.asee.org/acPapers/99conf452.

Abstract

ScienceWorks is a science and engineering outreach group at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln, comprised of faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and community volunteers. We are brought together by one goal - to make science fun and accessible for everyone. ScienceWorks has developed over 30 modules that emphasize a range of scientific and engineering topics and guide the participants in discovery-based learning. Modules cover a wide variety of topics, including pressure, materials, electromagnetism, archaeology, DNA, optics and fracture. Most ScienceWorks modules involve hands-on activities. In Electromagnetism for example, students are asked to use a length of wire and a nail to design an electromagnet that will pick up as many paperclips as possible. Other ScienceWorks modules are scripted, multimedia presentations designed for larger audiences. In the Pressure Presentation for example, the audience learns about the basic principles behind pressure through a series of demonstrations and explanations using a Socratic dialog. Students involved in ScienceWorks have the opportunity to develop their own modules, strengthen their speaking skills, and learn how to effectively communicate with the public.

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