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July 25, 2013

Middle schoolers attend Go STEM Summer Institute

Twenty-five fifth through ninth graders from schools around the three-county area recently participated in the Chenango – Delaware – Otsego (CDO) Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Leadership Council’s Go STEM Summer Institute.

The CDO STEM Leadership Council was formed in 2009 and includes more than 25 volunteer members from business, education (P-12, BOCES and post-secondary) and workforce development who are dedicated to identifying and expanding opportunities for area students to learn about and explore STEM-related careers in an effort to better the area’s economic future and quality of life.

This marked the third year of the Go STEM Institute and is the first year of the revised theme, How It Works. In previous years, the institute focused on the exploration of “green” topics. This year and in future years, the focus is on helping students apply the science, technology and math they learn during the academic year with everyday processes within the world around them.

According to a media release, the 2013 Go STEM Institute had students exploring the science/technology/math of food and learning the answers to questions such as what type of energy source is perfect for making cookies and why; what happens when you change the leavening agent in pizza dough and why; and how can milk be transformed into yogurt?

In addition to the middle school students, participants also included education majors from the State University College at Oneonta (pre-service teachers) and current (in-service) teachers who worked together to develop the learning activities for the week-long program. By including pre-service teachers, “the CDO STEM Leadership Council is achieving its objective to prepare future teachers to approach the teaching of science and math in interesting and engaging ways and assisting in-service teachers in developing curriculum to strengthen students’ understanding and experience with scientific inquiry,” Karen Rowe, director of curriculum and Instruction for Oneonta City Schools and co-chairwoman of the CDO STEM Leadership Council, said in the release.

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