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Archive for STEM education

September 14, 2018

By Sean Nealon

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience.

Students and teachers will join OSU scientists on the R/V Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience. (Photo by Pat Kight)

Oregon high school and community college students and teachers will join Oregon State University scientists on the research vessel Oceanus this month to gain at-sea research experience as part of a project to enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills.

The cruise, scheduled from Sept. 23 to 26, will depart from Newport, travel south along the Oregon coast to Stonewall and Heceta Banks, before veering northward to the Astoria Canyon, then into the Columbia River to Portland before returning to Newport. The research vessel will dock for two days in Portland, where there will be a series of activities, including tours for Portland area K-12 students.

Students on last year's cruise help retrieve the "Sonde," an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater.

Students on a 2016 cruise help retrieve the “Sonde,” an instrument used to measure the conductivity, temperature and pressure of seawater. (Photo by Tracy Crews)

The students and teachers participating in the cruise are from high schools in Bandon, Lincoln City and Warrenton, as well as Southwestern Oregon Community College and Oregon Coast Community College.

“This project will provide a transformational educational experience for high school and community college students and their teachers,” said Tracy Crews, marine education manager for Oregon Sea Grant. “By immersing students and teachers in at-sea research, we hope to increase the STEM-related skills of all participants and encourage students to seek out STEM careers.”

During the cruise, participants will conduct marine mammal and seabird surveys and correlate the presence and absence with oceanographic data. They will also conduct plankton tows where marine mammals are located to determine prey availability. Photo-identification of whales will be conducted to describe individual movement patterns, and the team will fly drones over whales to document behavior and assess body condition.

The project is a collaborative effort from Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, which serves educators, students and communities along the Oregon coast and is located at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The research vessel Oceanus is operated by Oregon State University and owned by the National Science Foundation.

Leigh Torres, an assistant professor at Oregon State and a member of the university’s Marine Mammal Institute, and Kim Bernard, an assistant professor at Oregon State who leads the Zooplankton Ecology Lab, will be the chief scientists on the excursion.

under: Columbia River, engineering, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, science education, STEM education, technology
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Oregon Coast STEM Hub names new director

Posted by: | July 11, 2018 Comments Off on Oregon Coast STEM Hub names new director |

July 11, 2018

by Rick Cooper

Lisa Blank, a professor of science education at the University of Montana, has been named as the new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

Lisa Blank, new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub

Science educator Lisa Blank has been named director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. (Photo by Logan Parson)

Blank, who will be based in Newport and start her job on Aug. 13, has a history of building partnerships between industries and organizations in the STEM fields and STEM educators in the academic pipeline from preschool to college. She began her career as an environmental scientist mitigating Superfund sites. She later taught middle- and high-school science and held academic positions at SUNY-Cortland and the University of Montana.

“The Oregon Coast STEM Hub brings together a diverse group of partners to provide student experiences and teacher opportunities the entire length of the Oregon coast,” said Shelby Walker, director of Oregon Sea Grant, which administers the hub. “As an experienced teacher and researcher in STEM education, Dr. Blank will enhance that partnership and work to expand and improve the opportunities for students and teachers to engage in STEM learning.”

Blank, who earned her doctorate in science education at Indiana University, collaborated on projects that provided computer science curriculum, industry internships and professional development for students and teachers across Montana in partnership with Montana State University, Montana-Tech and Salish-Kootenai College. Blank said she loves “making connections between people and ideas and systems” and is excited to serve in her new position as a “partner and resource in advancing STEM opportunities throughout coastal Oregon.”

As director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Blank will handle its administration, strategic leadership, resource development, management of grant funds, evaluation and high-level public exposure. She will also support the work of a multidisciplinary leadership council, lead STEM Hub staff and engage diverse stakeholders from public and private sectors to achieve regional and statewide goals.

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub promotes integrated science, technology, engineering and math education and serves coastal teachers, students and communities. It is one of several regional STEM Hubs funded by the Oregon Department of Education. The hub is based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport and serves the entire Oregon coast. Oregon Sea Grant has been a foundational partner of the STEM Hub and recently assumed a role as the administrative home for the director.

under: k-12 teachers, kids, news, Oregon Sea Grant, people, science education, STEM education
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Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter

Posted by: | June 21, 2018 Comments Off on Now available: New issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter |

June 21, 2018

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Confluence, a newsletter about Oregon Sea Grant’s research, outreach and educational programs, is now available for download. Inside this eight-page issue, you’ll find the following stories:

Cover of the spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant's newsletter, Confluence

The spring/summer 2018 issue of Oregon Sea Grant’s newsletter, Confluence, is now available for free download.

Want to receive the next issue of Confluence in your email? Click here.

under: Confluence, crab, ecology, environment, events, Extension, fellowships, fisheries, fishermen, free-choice learning, HMSC Visitor Center, internships, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, marine science, news, ocean literacy, oceanography, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, outreach and engagement, people, research, scholarships, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, seafood, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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Beaverton students qualify for international underwater robotics contest in Washington

Posted by: | May 2, 2018 Comments Off on Beaverton students qualify for international underwater robotics contest in Washington |

5-2-18

by Tracy Crews and Tiffany Woods

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Students from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton have qualified for an international underwater robotics competition in Washington after placing first at a similar regional contest in Lincoln City that tested their engineering and problem-solving skills.

A team of students demonstrates their entry in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center.

A team of students demonstrates their entry in the Oregon Regional MATE ROV competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center. (Photo by Cait Goodwin)

The team, called Valor Maritime International, was one of 40 teams from Oregon and southern Washington that participated in the 7th annual Oregon Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition on April 28 at the Lincoln City Community Center. In the pool, students from elementary school through high school demonstrated devices they built for the competition, which aims to prepare students for careers involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon teams hailed from Port Orford, Brookings, Gold Beach, Coos Bay, Toledo, Newport, Lincoln City, Tigard, Warrenton, Beaverton, The Dalles, Florence, Tillamook and Aloha. Four Washington teams came from White Salmon and Ridgefield.

The competition, which was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, was divided into several categories based on skill and grade level. Students placing first in the Ranger category advanced to the 17th annual international competition, which will be held June 21-23 at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

Students watch their entry's progress in the MATE ROV competition.

Students watch their entry’s progress in the MATE ROV competition. (Photo by Tracy Crews)

The competition in Lincoln City was one of 31 regional contests held around the world that are supported by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s theme highlights the role remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – play in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on archaeology, seismology and renewable energy. Teams were tasked with building an underwater robot that could locate and retrieve the hypothetical wreckage of a downed airplane, deploy hypothetical equipment to monitor earthquakes, and install simulated renewable energy devices. Students also formed mock companies, gave presentations and created plans to manufacture, market and sell their devices.

Additional support for the regional event came from: Oregon State University, the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. More than 50 volunteers served as divers and scorekeepers as well as judges, who evaluated the robots, posters and engineering presentations.

The First Place Ranger team, "Valor Maritime International," from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton, Oregon, is headed for the international MATE ROV competition in Washington on June 21-23.

The First Place Ranger team, “Valor Maritime International,” from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton, Oregon, is headed for the international MATE ROV competition in Washington on June 21-23. (Photo by R. McDonald)

Winners of the competition in Oregon are:

RANGER CLASS (advanced level, 1st place finisher advances to international competition)
1st Place — Valor Maritime International from Valor Christian School International
2nd Place — Laveer Enterprise from Life Christian School in Aloha
3rd Place — Knight Marine from Valor Christian School International

NAVIGATOR CLASS (intermediate level, participates only in regional competition)
1st Place — ROV Sharks from Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles
2nd Place — JJICE from Siuslaw High School in Florence
3rd Place — Waterlogged from Tillamook High School

SCOUT CLASS (novice level, participates only in regional competition)
1st Place — Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School
2nd Place — Water Whisperers from Warrenton Middle School
3rd Place — Valient Technologies from Valor Christian School International

The STEMinists from Wallace and Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate School in White Salmon won an award for team spirit.

A video of the 2017 competition in Oregon is on Oregon Sea Grant’s YouTube channel.

You can view photos of the 2018 competition in Oregon online.

under: engineering, events, kids, marine education, news, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, STEM education
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Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest

Posted by: | May 3, 2017 Comments Off on Newport HS students qualify for international underwater robotics contest |

Students from Newport High School have qualified for an international underwater robotics competition in California after placing first at a similar contest in Lincoln City that tested their engineering and problem-solving skills.

“The Finnovators” were one of 31 teams from Oregon that participated in the state’s 6th annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle competition on April 29 at the pool at the Lincoln City Community Center. More than 200 students from elementary school through college demonstrated devices they built for the competition, which aims to prepare students for technical careers.

Teams hailed from Astoria, Warrenton, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo, Eddyville, Waldport, Florence, Bandon, Albany, Aloha, Tigard, Beaverton and The Dalles.

The competition, which was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, was divided into four categories based on skill and grade level. Only two of the categories, Ranger and Explorer, allowed students to advance to the 16th annual international competition, which will be held June 23-25 in Long Beach, Calif., and will feature the top 60 teams from around the globe, including ones from Canada, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Russia.

“The Finnovators” were in the Ranger level, which requires students to perform all tasks without looking in the pool and instead rely only on the sensors and cameras on their robot. Although they are not required to compete in the regional competition, two Explorer-level teams from Linn-Benton Community College and Clatsop Community College demonstrated their robots. They, along with another Explorer team from Oregon State University, are working on fulfilling requirements to qualify for the international competition.

The Oregon event is one of 30 regional contests around the world that are coordinated by the California-based Marine Advanced Technology Education Center.

Each year a new theme is chosen. This year’s theme highlights the role of remotely operated vehicles – or ROVs – in monitoring the environment and supporting industries in port cities. Like port managers and marine researchers, the students at the Lincoln City contest guided their robots through tasks that simulated identifying cargo containers that fell overboard, repairing equipment, and taking samples of hypothetically contaminated sediment and shellfish. Students also presented marketing materials they created and gave engineering presentations.

Additional support for the event came from the MATE Center, the Marine Technology Society, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Oregon State University, the Oregon Coast Aquarium, the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. More than 50 volunteers from these and other organizations ran the competition and served as judges and divers.

Photos of the competition can be downloaded from Oregon Sea Grant’s Flickr page.

Read more about the event in the Newport News Times.

Winners of the Oregon competition are:
RANGER CLASS (intermediate level, 1st place finisher advances to international competition)

1st Place – The Finnovators from Newport High School in Newport

2nd Place – Knight Marine from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

3rd Place – R.U.W.E. from Taft High School in Lincoln City

NAVIGATOR CLASS (intermediate level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Laveer Enterprise from Life Christian School in Aloha

2nd Place – EROV from Taft High School in Lincoln City

3rd Place – ROV Sharks from Wasco County 4-H in The Dalles

SCOUT CLASS (novice level, participates only in regional competition)

1st Place – Valor Tech from Valor Christian School International in Beaverton

2nd Place – Jet Sky from Siuslaw High School in Florence

3rd Place – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

ADDITIONAL AWARD

Team Spirit Award – Water Warriors from Warrenton Grade School in Warrenton

under: awards, engineering, events, kids, marine education, marine science, news, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, people, STEM education, technology
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New edition of Confluence now available

Posted by: | October 11, 2016 Comments Off on New edition of Confluence now available |

The fall/winter 2016 edition of Oregon Sea Grant’s semiannual newsletter, Confluence, is now available online. Articles you’ll find in this issue:

  • Guidelines help boaters enjoy watching whales without disturbing them;
  • University of Oregon study reveals why hypoxia hasn’t affected Coos Bay;
  • Simulator helps coastal residents prepare tsunami evacuation strategy;
  • Students get their feet wet in watershed science with StreamWebs;
  • Oregon Sea Grant helps prepare coastal kids for high-tech jobs; and
  • When human health affects environmental health.

You can download a free PDF here.

Oregon Sea Grant's semiannual newsletter

under: citizen science, climate, coastal hazards, Columbia River, Confluence, courses, classes and workshops, earthquake, ecology, engineering, environment, HMSC Visitor Center, k-12 teachers, kids, marine animals, marine education, marine mammals, ocean literacy, Oregon Sea Grant, outreach and engagement, people, public communication, publications, science education, Sea Grant Scholars, social science, STEM education, tsunami, whales
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MATE ROV competition in North Bend this weekend

Posted by: | April 28, 2016 Comments Off on MATE ROV competition in North Bend this weekend |

NORTH BEND – Forty-three teams of elementary, middle school, high school and college students from across Oregon descend on the North Bend Community Pool and North Bend High Schoolthis Saturday, April 30, to try out their hand-built underwater robots in the Oregon regional section of the annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle competition.

The event, which is open to the public, runs from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m.

Team works on ROVThe Oregon competition is one of 24 regional contests held around the world under the coordination of the MATE Center. Top teams from upper level divisions will earn an opportunity to compete in MATE’s 15th annual international ROV competition June 23-25 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

This year’s contest highlights the role of ROVs in scientific research and exploration in the deep ocean and outer space. Students will pilot their RVs through missions designed to meet NASA-identified needs. Among other things, teams are challenged to build a robot that can survive transport to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and operate in the ocean beneath the moon’s ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Teams must also create a poster and be interviewed by engineering judges.

The competition promotes entrepreneurship and leadership skills by requiring students to organize their teams into a company, with each student taking on a specific roll as they design, manufacture and market their student-built robots. They must manage a project and budget, brainstorm innovative solutions and work as a team – all important workforce skills.

The Oregon Regional MATE ROV Competition is supported by numerous partners and more than 50 volunteers who serve as divers, judges and support staff. This year’s competition is sponsored by the Oregon Coast Stem Hub.

Learn more:

 

 

under: engineering, events, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, STEM education

STEM Week Oregon celebrates, encourages STEM learning

Posted by: | April 26, 2016 Comments Off on STEM Week Oregon celebrates, encourages STEM learning |

STEM Week Oregon logoMay 1-8 is  STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide movement to raise awareness, celebrate and engage in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Oregon Sea Grant’s marine education team and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub say that STEM learning is crucial to students, academic and professional success. Engaging students, families, and community members in STEM related activities will help promote the importance — and fun — of STEM!

How can you participate?

The STEM Oregon website offers these suggestions:

under: HMSC Visitor Center, k-12 teachers, kids, marine education, STEM education

Renewable energy challenge brings kids to Hatfield Center

Posted by: | April 15, 2016 Comments Off on Renewable energy challenge brings kids to Hatfield Center |
2015 Renewable Energy ChallengeNEWPORT – More than 200 third- through 12th-graders will demonstrate their knowledge of wind-, wave- and solar energy on April 19 in the third annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center. The event takes place from 10 am to 2 pm.
Students from Warrenton, Seaside, Tillamook, Toledo and Waldport will bring their student built renewable energy devices to compete for top honors at this year’s competition. In addition to testing their devices in wave tanks, solar tracks and in a wind tunnel, teams will interact with a panel of engineering judges who will further rate teams on knowledge and design innovation.
Students will also have the opportunity to hear about current research on potential impacts of offshore wind energy devices, and participate in HMSC’s Sustainability Quest, an educational clue-directed hunt.
This year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge is made possible by support from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. Teams with top wind energy devices will be invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge  in New Orleans at the end of May.

 

under: engineering, HMSC Visitor Center, kids, marine education, STEM education

Check out our invasive species resources

Posted by: | February 23, 2016 Comments Off on Check out our invasive species resources |

Aquatic Invasive species images

 
It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and Oregon Sea Grant has resources to help you take action against non-native animals and plants that can wreck native habitats and out-compete the local fauna and flora.

under: events, invasive species, STEM education

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