Science and Technology Open House highlights creativity, innovation of STEM disciplines
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 19, 2012) — U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell stressed the importance of science education in America as she addressed an audience at Tuskegee University’s Science and Technology Open House. Themed: "Celebrating Creativity and Innovation through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM),” the open house covered topics such as nanotechnology, space, mechanical and electrical energy. The event was held on Saturday, April 14, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference center at Tuskegee University. It featured a seminar on graduate education, poster presentations, exhibits and networking.
“It is critically important that we remain competitive. After all, we are the nation that put cars in driveways, put computers on peoples’ desks,” Sewell said. “We are a nation of Google and Facebook. Tradition has to be maintained and promoted.”
Shaik Jeelani, vice president for research and sponsored programs, said the open house featured more than 100 project posters from middle school, high school, university and doctoral students.
“It is very important that our elected officials know what we are doing. So, when it comes to the budget, they are the ones that can make an impact,” Jeelani said.
Sewell said she was impressed by the student project presentations and that it was important for science educators to fuel the imaginations of students. Also, she encouraged student participants to work hard, define themselves and to be proud of their identities and roots.
“I know that I am looking upon the next generation of inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers,” Sewell said. “Truly, you are the future of our wonderful nation.”
Tuskegee is a part of a number of state and federal partnerships to promote and enhance science education including a $9.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation designed to strengthen the science curriculum for Black Belt middle school students. Tuskegee University President Gilbert Rochon said the university has a number of centers for various research initiatives and was recently named a Center of Excellence in nano-bio materials by the NSF. He told the audience that the university will continue to make advances in science education.
“And, the third segment will be a new Center for Geo-Science, Climate Change and Satellite Remote Sensing which will be in consort with a funded project from NATO,” Rochon said. “That branch is paying for ground stations for real-time satellite remote sensing at partnering universities in Morocco and ground stations here (at Tuskegee University) that can provide for input for time-critical events including: crop forecasting, meteorological forecasting, early warning of disasters and even epidemics.”
Lawrence Cooper of the McWane Science Center (standing) assists student participants with a demonstration during the day's activities.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell addresses the audience at the opening session of the open house.
© 2012 Tuskegee University