STEM Education Summer Workshops

Dorothee Husson shares science with high school teachersPostdoctoral Researcher Dorothée Husson presented current developments on carbon capture and sequestration to a unique audience in August: Chicago-area high school teachers. The two-day Climate Change & Sustainability workshop was one of many projects organized through the Office of STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern (OSEP), which supports K-12 students and teachers by connecting them with the world-class science, technology, engineering and mathematics resources of Northwestern University. The goal of this workshop was to improve climate change education at the high school level. During the workshop, teachers in Dorothée’s class began to develop a climate change curriculum in the form of a board game to use in their classrooms.

Northwestern scientists working on climate change and sustainability from other disciplines also led workshops. Neal Blair, Professor in Earth & Planetary Sciences and Civil & Environmental Engineering departments discussed methods of detecting biogeochemical processes that might be employed in high schools. David Vinson, postdoctoral researcher in Professor Blair’s group who uses geochemistry to understand water-rock interaction and microbial processes in the subsurface, helped teachers understand the importance of methane to global carbon cycling and energy resources. As part of the workshop, Blair and Vinson demonstrated simple biogas reactors to generate methane and carbon dioxide in the laboratory. Dick Co, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Director of Operations and Outreach at the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center at Northwestern University also participated. His research is focused on the study of the interaction of light and matter to create better solutions to capture solar energy.

15 teachers participated from 14 different area schools. The teachers toured labs and completed hands-on activities in addition to the curriculum development work. Siemens Corporation supported the workshop.

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August 22, 2013