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Archive for Student Experiences

By Cait Goodwin

More than 170 elementary and middle school students converged on OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center on March 5th to compete in the 7th annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge hosted by Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. For weeks leading up to the event, students from Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport, and Florence researched renewable energy, explored existing and emerging technologies, and worked in teams building their own model devices. At the competition, students put their wind and solar energy devices to the test to see how their devices performed.

More than 40 teams designed wind turbines and tested them in a wind tunnel to determine which device produced the most energy. Students made their turbines from materials ranging from cardboard to 3-D printed plastic; their models varied in the number, size, shape, and angle of turbine blades. In addition, 22 teams tested solar boats in outdoors water tanks to see which model traveled the fastest. A variety of boat shapes and materials were represented, with designs using everything from plastic water bottles, duct tape and cork, to cardboard.

In all, 40 science and engineering professionals volunteered at the event, helping with judging, scoring, and operating testing stations. Each student team was interviewed by a pair of Engineering Judges. Points were awarded based on student responses to questions about how the team’s device worked and their design process. The judges were impressed with the students, their designs, and their ability to explain the reasons why their device performed as it did.

Employment in the Renewable Energy sector provides high wage jobs for those with strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills. By engaging students in hands-on STEM activities with real-world connections, the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge aims to get young people excited about STEM and STEM careers.

Winners of this year’s Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge are listed below. Top wind teams are invited to participate in the National KidWind Challenge in Houston, Texas in May.

 

 

2019 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Winners:

WIND ENERGY

1st Place          Ms. Kilduff’s team #10 “Keelah & Sugar”, Crestview Heights School – Waldport

2nd Place          Ms. Saxton’s team #6 “Windwalkers” from Crestview Heights School – Waldport

3rd Place          Ms. Hill’s team #4 “Tornado Turbines” from Crestview Heights School – Waldport

 

SOLAR ENERGY

1st Place          Ms. LaMarche’s team #5 “Famous Four” from Taft Elementary – Lincoln City

2nd Place          Ms. LaMarche’s team #1 “The Monsters” from Taft Elementary – Lincoln City

3rd Place          Ms. McDermott’s team #3 “Orange Team” from Sam Case School – Newport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cait Goodwin is the Communications Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. If you would like to share your Oregon Coast STEM education story on this blog, contact her at cait.goodwin@oregonstate.edu.

under: competition, Student Experiences
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North Bend SeaPerch Competition

Posted by: | December 13, 2018 | 1 Comment |

By Guest Contributor: Darren Sinko

On Saturday December 1st, the North Bend Middle School Science Club competed at the North Bend Pool in a SeaPerch Competition against a group of science students from North Bend High School.North Bend Middle School Science Club

SeaPerch is a program in which students build and operate a simple Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) which can perform tasks underwater. At a SeaPerch Competition, students maneuver their ROVs through an obstacle course or use it to retrieve objects. In the past year, three SeaPerch competitions have been held in North Bend.

SeaPerch is one of two programs on the Oregon Coast that engage students in building and competing with underwater robots. In contrast to the MATE ROV program, SeaPerch involves simpler materials and competition requirements, which makes it an attractive option for middle school educators and students.

At Saturday’s SeaPerch competition, several middle school club members distinguished themselves by winning medals in multiple events.

 

RESULTS

Scavenger Hunt Event

  • 1st Place  – 7th graders Orion Sinko and Beau Parrott
  • 2nd Place  – 8th graders Payten Henderson and Gillian Baxter
  • 3rd Place – 6th grader Jackson Allen

Obstacle Course

  • 1st Place – 9th grader Johnny Flanagan and Madden Robertson
  • 2nd Place – 7th graders Orion Sinko and Beau ParrottSeaPerch ROV engages in the Coat Rack Scavenger Hunt
  • 3rd Place – 9th grader Sadie Wolfe

Coat Hanger Scavenger Hunt

  • 1st Place – 7th graders Orion Sinko and Beau Parrott
  • 2nd Place – 8th graders Payten Henderson and Gillian Baxter
  • 3rd Place – 6th grader Jackson Allen

The North Bend Science Club will be hosting another SeaPerch competition in early May at the North Bend Pool. Teachers who are interested in entering their students in this competition should contact Mr. Darren Sinko at North Bend Middle School.

Read more about the North Bend SeaPerch Competition in The World Link.

7th grade North Bend students

8th grader from North Bend Middle School Science Club competes with her SeaPerch ROV 8th graders from North Bend Middle School Science Club get ready to compete with their SeaPerch ROV

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Darren Sinko teaches science at North Bend Middle School, mentors the North Bend Science Club, and coordinates the SeaPerch competition in North Bend, OR. He can be reached at dsinko@nbend.k12.or.us

North Bend School District is a partner in the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

under: competition, Robotics, Student Experiences
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Students Demonstrate Power

Posted by: | October 18, 2018 | No Comment |

By Tracy Crews

Student tests solar boat at 2018 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy ChallengeHow can wind, waves, and sunlight provide coastal communities with electricity? To demonstrate the answer, Oregon coast students are invited to design models of wind, wave, and solar energy devices and bring them to the 6th annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge in March.

Oregon Sea Grant hosts the annual Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center, and this year’s competition will be held on March 5, 2019. The event provides students in grades 3-12 opportunities to learn about renewable energy options that are currently being investigated along the Oregon Coast, and provides support and context for teachers seeking to integrate real-world science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in their classrooms.

Student designed solar energy deviceAt last year’s Challenge sponsored by the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, more than 170 students brought their renewable energy devices to the HMSC Visitor Center to test in wave tanks, a wind tunnel, or under high-powered lights to see which designs produced the greatest amount of energy. In addition, 25 volunteer judges from research and industry were on site to interact with students, assess student designs, and provide feedback.

In preparation for the Challenge, students researched renewable energy, practiced the engineering design process as they developed, built and tested their prototypes, and created a marketing poster detailing the strengths and benefits of their design. At the event, students further communicated their learning by interacting with other students and adults at the competition, as well as providing an engineering presentation to a panel of volunteer judges.

Students tell judges about their designs at the 2018 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy ChallengeAccording to an engineering judge who volunteered at the 2018 competition, “One strength of the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge is students’ involvement with the scientific, problem solving, and engineering design processes. And, seeing the enthusiasm and pride the students had in their work was fun!”

One teacher who brought students to last year’s competition reflected, “I appreciated the high interest and developing curiosity that purposely connects to this challenge. It touched my heart to hear youngsters using scientific vocabulary and investigations in their explanations about their engineer designs.

Student tests solar boat at 2018 Oregon Coast Renewable Energy ChallengeUpper grade level student teams that win at the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge are invited to participate in the KidWind National Challenge, providing them the opportunity to face top wind and solar energy teams from across the US.

The Oregon Coast STEM Hub will be scheduling educator workshops for teachers and mentors along the Oregon Coast who are interested in bringing students to this year’s competition. Keep an eye on the Professional Development page of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub website for announcements of these opportunities. For more information, contact tracy.crews@oregonstate.edu.

 

 

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Tracy Crews is the Marine Education Program Manager for Oregon Sea Grant, the Student STEM Experiences Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and the coordinator for the Oregon Coast Renewable Energy Challenge.

 

under: competition, Student Experiences
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Mission Earth! Summer Camp

Posted by: | October 4, 2018 | 1 Comment |

By Kama Almasi and Kara Allan

What activities make middle school students excited about learning? What topics will engage their attention? What kinds of tasks will be appreciated as both fun and meaningful? For one week last summer, we were challenged to tackle these very questions for 25 middle school students from Lincoln County School District and beyond. Our answers included: A mystery involving death and our local area, lots of hands-on activities, a couple of field trips, and a few silly games thrown in. We named our camp: Mission Earth!

Mission Earth! Campers

Our Program

Mission Earth! campersWe began camp with a fictional situation in which scientists discovered a massive die-off of juvenile salmon along the Yaquina River. Oh NO! The kids brainstormed possible causes and designed tests. Their hypotheses included death from warm water temperature, disease, parasites, pollution, and much more. We then embarked on a journey of investigation and exploration with the kids. They spent the week:

  • Learning techniques of sampling
    • biosphere (living organisms)
    • atmosphere
    • pedosphere (soils)
    • hydrosphere (water)
  • Using analog and digital tools
  • Dissecting salmonids
  • Collecting data from Brian Booth State Park, two sites in Toledo, and Hatfield Marine Science Center
  • Learning to use a GPS (geographic positioning system)
  • Geocaching
  • Listening to a guest speaker talk about parasites and invasive species
  • Creating art/science journals, and made
  • Making fish prints
  • Creating barometers
  • Conducting experiments on pH and ocean acidification

Mission Earth! campersOur goals were that students would engage in science in a fun way and experience deepened learning by making local connections with the content that were relevant to their everyday experiences. With the help of our four high school/college counselors, students were able to work in small groups throughout the week allowing for lots of active learning and close interactions with instructors and peers.

In the end, students determined that both the Yaquina River and Beaver Creek are clean, but conditions during the fictional die-off were unusually warm. The students concluded that, likely due to climate change, the water became very warm too early in the season for juvenile salmon. This either would have caused their deaths outright, or weakened them and made them susceptible to disease or parasites.

The Takeaway

Mission Earth! campersThere’s nothing more satisfying to a teacher than seeing her students excited and engaged in learning. Thanks to support from our sponsors, we were able to do just that for our campers. We received very positive feedback from students and parents alike, and were extremely gratified to see our kids excited about working in their local environments. They had fun and learned valuable skills that will someday allow them to contribute to their communities.

 

Our Partners

Mission Earth! Camp was made possible through outreach, training, and supplies from Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline (NESSP) and considerable logistical aid from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub. In addition, we received generous donations from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and Thermo Fisher Scientific. NESSP is an offshoot of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that serves communities in the Pacific Northwest. In particular, they aim to strengthen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and interest in careers by giving educators and students access to innovative materials that will excite and engage student interest in STEM. The Confederated Tribes of Siletz created a charitable fund in 1999, and since then, has donated millions of dollars to charitable funds for education, natural resources, and much more. Thermo Fisher Scientific Corporation also has a philanthropic fund through which they help to strengthen STEM education with the goal of increasing the STEM workforce in the United States. All of this generous support enabled us to offer a free environmental camp to improve equity and access for local students and parents.

 

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Kama Almasi and Kara Allan are Community Curriculum Resource Liaisons (CCRLs) for Lincoln County School District, and they are also the Central Coast Coordinators for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

 

under: Student Experiences
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By Tracy Crews

On the OceanusThe R/V Oceanus is a 177-foot research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation and run by Oregon State University. She can carry a crew of 24 which consists of 11 crew members of the ship and 13 members of the science party. The science party on the recent STEM research cruise was composed of two high school students, three high school teachers, two community college students, two graduate students, and four OSU researchers. Most of these cruise participants were complete strangers to one another prior to boarding the ship.

What is it like to be part of a science party at sea?

Analyzing samplesAlthough we are at sea to conduct marine science, each cruise is a social science experiment in and of itself. When a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds are living and working together in a confined space, they quickly learn how to get along and what skill sets each bring to the table. During this cruise, it was amazing to see how quickly friendships formed, how everyone encouraged and supported one another, and how the team functioned like a well-oiled machine to deploy and retrieve equipment, collect data, and troubleshoot problems.

preparing the droneBelow are a few thoughts about the relationships formed on this cruise. It was written by Oregon Coast Community College student Jason Miranda, a recent graduate of the Drone Academy at Career Tech High School in Lincoln City, and the official drone operator for this cruise.

Aboard the Oceanus is one trip I will never forget. The memories started when I first boarded the ship and met the people I would spend the next six days with. It was an awkward experience, meeting new people, but as time passed these people became close friends. We all worked, ate, and relaxed as a team.

 

It was an amazing experience to see all the sights I saw, like a pod of dolphins, two killer whales, countless humpbacks, and the beautiful views of downtown Portland. It would not have been the same without any of them aboard this ship. As we all started to leave I felt sad because I knew I would not be able to see many of them ever again, but I guess that’s what makes our memories together so special.

working on deckThe R/V Oceanus is back in Newport, and the teachers and students who participated in the cruise are back to their normal lives on land (although at least one participant reports that it feels like the floor is still rocking). Many thanks to all who participated and to to those who made this STEM experience possible!

 

 

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Tracy Crews is the Marine Education Program Manager for Oregon Sea Grant, the Student STEM Experiences Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and the Principal Investigator for the STEM research cruise which took place last week on the R/V Oceanus.

This cruise was funded by Oregon Legislative funds with additional support from Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University.

 

under: R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
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By Tracy Crews

This post is part of a series about the 2018 STEM research cruise taking place this week on board the R/V Oceanus. Other posts in this series include Tracy’s report from Day One, and a post from high school student Alishia Keller from Day Two.

Pacific white-sided dolphins

Pacific white-sided dolphins

We started out our research cruise off the Oregon Coast, but as the wind increased down south impacting visibility, we tried our best to outrun it by heading north, into the waters off of Washington. We started out the day over Gray’s Canyon, surrounded by thick fog, wondering if we had traded one weather problem for another. But as the sun rose higher in the sky it burned off the fog and we were able to resume our survey tracks, zig-zagging back and forth from the shallower edge of the canyon, through the deeper water, then back to the other side again. Our quest today was to find those large, elusive whales known to prefer deep water, like sperm whales, beaked whales, and blues.

It wasn’t long before we saw a large pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins, estimated to be 230 in number by our two marine mammal researchers. Soon the dolphins surrounded the boat, darting out of wave crests, performing acrobatics and dancing in the wake of the vessel. The speed and agility they displayed was truly astounding. But as much as we enjoyed their antics, it was time to resume our search for their larger relatives.

Sperm whale fluke

Soon thereafter, as we made our way into deeper water, a solitary sperm whale was spotted. Everyone was excited to see such a rare sight but it wouldn’t last for long. Immortalized in books like Moby Dick, these large, toothed whales are impressive divers and once submerged can stay down for 45 minutes or more. Unsure when or where it would resurface, we continued along our survey transect.

As we moved back into shallower waters, we began to see more of the humpback whales that we have become so familiar with over the last few days. Most were traveling in small, close-knit groups, synchronized as they moved through the water. Others could be seen diving together then “logging” at the surface, floating to conserve energy and recover before diving once again.

deploying CTD

More oceanographic surveying

As the day wound down and wind picked up, we shifted gears to conduct some more CTDs (oceanographic surveys) and decided to conduct another nighttime plankton tow to compare to what was caught the previous night in the Astoria Canyon, off the Columbia River. As we gathered outside on the back deck to watch the sun sink below the horizon, one of the teachers pulled out his guitar and harmonica and we were presented with one last amazing gift, something mariners often wait a lifetime to see- a green flash.

Sunset Day Three

Waiting for the green flash

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Tracy Crews is the Marine Education Program Manager for Oregon Sea Grant, the Student STEM Experiences Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and the Principal Investigator for the STEM research cruise taking place this week on the R/V Oceanus.

This cruise is funded by Oregon Legislative funds with additional support from Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University. Track the R/V Oceanus at marinetraffic.com, and see more photos of this expedition on the Oregon Coast STEM Hub Facebook page.

 

 

under: Careers, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
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By Alishia Keller
Bandon High School ’19

This post is part of a series about the 2018 STEM research cruise taking place this week on board the R/V Oceanus. For an introduction to the cruise, read yesterday’s post by the cruise’s Principal Investigator Tracy Crews. Today’s post is from a student’s perspective:

humpback whale flukeToday was the first full day at sea. Though much of the group spent yesterday in their bunks with seasickness, they all were present for today’s activities.

We woke and gathered in the dining area for breakfast before heading up to the flying bridge to observe marine mammals. There were patches of bait balls (groups of small fish) followed by flocks of gulls. Though we saw a few individual humpback whales, they were typically seen in pods of three or four.

making marine mammal observations from the ship's deckDuring our whale observations, we witnessed a whale lunge feeding. This is when a whale lunges out of the water, exposing its enlarged buccal cavity which expands like an accordion to accommodate a large amount of water and the krill on which it feeds.

Seeing consistent whale activity led us to deploy the CTD to collect oceanographic data, and a plankton tow to observe the abundance of food available.  Afterwards, we continued to observe the humpback whales. Though we saw many whales, not many flukes were visible, which made it difficult to photograph and identify the individual whales.

getting ready to deploy the CTD with styrofoam cups attached

Styrofoam cups ready for deployment

Right before lunch we gave up due to increasing winds which made observations difficult, so we headed North to Astoria Canyon off the Columbia River to conduct a series of CTDs. During the deepest deployment, we attached bags of Styrofoam cups decorated by our group, as well as students from some of their classrooms. The cups were sent to over 700 meters depth causing them to shrink to half their original size due to the high pressure.

styrofoam cups after their trip to the deep ocean

Styrofoam cups after their trip to the deep ocean

After recovering the CTD and cups, our group gathered to eat ice cream and enjoy the magnificent sunset in the West, mirrored by the full red moon to the East. Our last research effort for the night was another plankton tow which yielded more krill, lantern fish, a baby octopus, and many other cool critters.

full moon at sunset

Ice cream on deck

sunset

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Alishia Keller is a senior at Bandon High School in Coos County, Oregon. After high school she plans to go to college to study ecology and sustainability.

under: R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
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By Tracy Crews

Surveying the horizon for marine mammals and seabirds

Surveying the horizon for marine mammals and seabirds

This weekend, a science party of 13 researchers, students, and teachers gathered aboard Oregon State University’s research vessel, the Oceanus, to begin a four-day research cruise aimed at providing mentoring and career connections at sea. The team mission is to conduct marine mammal and sea bird surveys and correlate sightings with oceanographic data and prey distribution. Participants in this cruise include high school teachers and students from Bandon High School, Taft High School in Lincoln City, and Warrenton High School, as well as college students from Southwestern Oregon Community College, Oregon Coast Community College and Oregon State University.

Deploying the CTD

Deploying the CTD

While adapting to life at sea, these teachers and students are learning to handle lines and deploy oceanographic equipment, how to identify marine mammals, seabirds, and plankton. They aren’t just observers but active participants in the science party, operating critical equipment, including hydraulics and data collection systems.

The first day we experienced sunshine and many successes.  Participants mastered their seasickness, and went on to deploy and retrieve plankton nets and CTDs. The abundance and types of plankton (small floating plants and animals) captured in the fine-mesh nets, and the physical parameters of conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth measured by the CTDs will help researchers characterize the water column.

In addition, we surveyed over a dozen humpback whales and numerous porpoises, and used a drone to capture video footage of a humpback whale from above. The video data will help researchers from OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute assess the whale’s body condition, an indicator of overall health.

Life on the water is often exhausting, and after a 14 hour day, we are all ready for some much needed sleep. Laying in our bunks as we are rocked to sleep, we dream of what tomorrow will bring.

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Tracy Crews is the Marine Education Program Manager for Oregon Sea Grant, the Student STEM Experiences Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, and the Principal Investigator for the STEM research cruise taking place this week on the R/V Oceanus.

This cruise is funded by Oregon Legislative funds with additional support from Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon State University. Track the R/V Oceanus at marinetraffic.com, and see more photos of this expedition on the Oregon Coast STEM Hub Facebook page.

under: Careers, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
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By Ruben Krueger

An intergalactic spaceship that flies through the blackness of space, shooting lasers, and dodging aliens—all while getting a high score. This was the game that 16 middle and high schoolers from Lincoln County coded over the course of three weeks in SeaCode, a free, introductory computer science camp.

SeaCode students and the teaching team met in the Boone Center of Newport High School. In this photo, they are wearing the camp t-shirts. (Photo: Brian Hanna)

Our society has been revolutionized by computer science, yet most of the general population is unaware of what “coding” —writing instructions for a computer—even means. Thus, Newport High School teacher Brian Hanna and I wanted to ameliorate this by creating SeaCode. Undergraduate students Jane Myrick, Gatlin Andrews, Ryan Russell and Alex Rash graciously helped us teach the camp. Interestingly enough, all five of us are former students of Mr. Hanna!

Gatlin, Ryan, and Alex are now computer science students at Oregon State University, and Jane is an English and Education double major, also at Oregon State. Brian is a math, physics, and nascent computer science teacher, and a winner of the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Typing away in the Boone Center of Newport High School, the students used a web editor to write Javascript code (with help of the p5.js graphics library). The first day was an introduction to drawing with the p5.js library, and by the end of the two hour class, the students made a ball bounce off the edges of the screen, changing color each time. The next five days were a crash-course into the fundamentals of computer science, and included concepts such as variables, functions, and object-oriented programming.

During the remainder of the camp, the students worked on their games. Each day was focused on a implementing a major game feature (the star background, the spaceship, or aliens, for example), and this was broken down into a number of tasks for them. The tasks described what they had to do, but it was their responsibility to write the solution—they were not “handed” any code. Par for the course for emerging software engineers, this challenged the students and often necessitated extended debugging sessions and concept reviews.

A student coding the game.
Photo: Brian Hanna

Once students were finished with the day’s tasks, they added new features. For example, after finishing the star background, some students made their stars twinkle and others added in a “hyperdrive” feature which made the stars move past the ship at lightspeed. By the end of the camp, all of the games looked very dissimilar as the students added different types of aliens, lasers, spaceships, and even two-player modes!

Although we wanted all of the students to finish their games, creating an enjoyable experience for the students was our main goal. Thus, we abstracted away concepts that would be overly burdensome for a beginner, keeping only what was critical for the game. Moreover, we handed out incentives: all students received a t-shirt which said “I can code” and ice cream on the last day, and we raffled off a miniature drone and Arduino microcontroller.

Our next priority was exposing the students to the esoteric world of computer science. Currently, our educational system is inept at making students aware of this field. According to computer science education group Code.org, only forty percent of all high schools have computer science programs, when more than half of all new STEM jobs will be in software development. When I attended Newport High School, we lacked a computer science course; consequently, I was only introduced to coding when I joined our school’s robotics team. Fortunately, Brian Hanna has been working to change this. He attended SuperQuest workshops*, and this year he created and taught an introductory programming course, the first of its kind at Newport High School. However, with this camp we wanted to reach students across the county, from a wide range of ages, and students who would not be able to enroll in Hanna’s semester-long course.

It is our belief that even if a student left the camp without understanding what a variable is, then at least the student is aware of this field and would be more inclined to enroll in an introductory computer science course in the future. Additionally, we highly encouraged the students to further their study of computer science, and showed them free, online resources to do so.

You Can Code

Although the students, most of whom had no experience with computer science, made prodigious growth in their abilities, we, the teaching team, learned even more. This was my first time teaching computer science and I quickly realized that knowing a subject is necessary but not sufficient to teach that subject. Clearly communicating concepts such as variable scope, functions, and objects, I now appreciate, is much more difficult than actually using them.  As an ancillary benefit, we all became more familiar with Javascript, including some of its atrocious features such as implicit variable creation, type coercion, and automatic semicolon insertion by the interpreter. (These idiosyncrasies caused a majority of the student’s bugs.)

With these reflections, we have started planning next year’s camp, and are eager to accept more volunteers, grants, or any other type of assistance. For SeaCode 2019, we hope to create two camps—one for middle schoolers, one for high schoolers—and recruit more students from demographics underrepresented in software engineering.

SeaCode was sponsored by the Partnership Against Alcohol & Drug Abuse (PAADA), the Lincoln County School District, and Mo’s Restaurants. Additionally, this camp would not have been possible without the help of Brian Hanna, who helped me create and organize the camp.

More Information

*The summer SuperQuest teacher professional development workshops in Newport were offered by the Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.


About the author
Ruben is a graduate of Newport High School and is currently a sophomore computer science major at Stanford University. His first experience with coding was during his senior year of high school through his afterschool robotics team which competed in the MATE ROV Competition. When not being productive, you may find Ruben running, watching Family Guy, or reading. He is currently working at QuickCarl (www.quickcarl.com), a tech startup based in San Diego. You can contact Ruben at ruben1@stanford.edu or www.rubenkrueger.com

 

 

 

under: Article, Computer Science, Student Experiences
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The Oregon Coast STEM Hub was awarded funding from Oregon Sea Grant to support a series of research cruises in 2018 on the Oregon State University research vessel Pacific Storm. This new program is designed to provide at-sea opportunities for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students to conduct their own research, as well as work with OSU researchers on a variety of nearshore research projects. Below is a report from Sonora Meiling, an OSU undergraduate student who used this opportunity to gather data for her research question about the use of zinc anodes in crab pots:

 

High School Students Help OSU Undergraduate With Her Research
By Sonora Meiling

Handling crabsGenerally, commercial crabbing boats along the Oregon coast put zinc anodes in their crab pots not only to alleviate corrosion issues, but also because of a long held belief that if they don’t, they won’t catch any crabs. Speaking to captains of commercial crab boats from the Newport area, they reported that crabs are deterred from pots without zinc anodes by the heat and charge generated by the corroding steel. A year ago, I looked into the scientific findings behind this, and found none. When added to the crab pots, the positive charge of the sacrificial zinc anodes ground the pot, creating a neutral charge. So I decided to set up preliminary lab trials in which crabs were given a choice of bait in a steel ring with or without zinc. To my surprise, there were a significant amount of crabs that chose the ring with zinc.

Sonora and crab potTo further investigate this phenomena, during the 2017-2018 crabbing season I went out on the F/V Winona J, a renowned commercial fishing boat on the Oregon coast, and also on the OSU research vessel, the Pacific Storm. On the Winona J, I simply observed the deckhands work and recorded data from the few pots that they had removed the zinc from. On the Pacific Storm, I was able to collect my most valuable data yet. Over the course of a week, I went out to sea on three day trips in which I deployed paired pots with and without zinc.

The first day we deployed all of the pots at two different depths and two different longitudinal locations. Three days later, I was joined by juniors from Toledo High School to retrieve and redeploy the pots. Once on board, the students determined the sex, counted, and measured the carapace width of the crabs. Some already knew how to determine the sex of the crabs, and the ones who hadn’t, quickly learned. With three roles (recorder, crab holder and crab measurer), every student was able to participate in a job they were comfortable with. They did an awesome job recording data and interpreted, without provocation, there to be no difference in abundance of crabs between the pots.

Collecting data on the R/V Pacific StormThe second day of data collection, I was joined by juniors from the IB Biology class at Newport High School. Unfortunately, there were only three students healthy enough to help out. Fortunately, these select few were eager to dive into the pots. One student had clearly handled crabs before and was able to determine their sex on their own. Another student helping was promptly able to sex the crabs on her own once I showed her a few examples.

I am very grateful for the help with days at sea through funding from Oregon Sea Grant and data collection assistance from the Toledo and Newport high school students. My hope is that engaging in a real research project led by someone that they can relate to who is not much older than they are, will encourage the high schoolers to pursue their own research interests.

 

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The Oregon Coast STEM Hub regularly shares opportunities for students to participate in STEM experiences. For example, the Hub is currently recruiting high school students to participate in a four day research cruise on OSU’s R/V Oceanus. The research cruise, which will be led by OSU researchers who study marine mammals and plankton, will take place on September 24-27, 2018, departing from Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Only students from the Oregon Coast who will be seniors for the 2018/19 school year are eligible to apply. Application materials are due by June 18. Download a flyer with details.

 

under: R/V Pacific Storm, Student Experiences
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