High School Students Get Psyched About Science


(Photo by Kylee Ehmann)

(Photo by Kylee Ehmann)
(Photo by Kylee Ehmann)

The normal quiet of the U on a Saturday morning was disturbed by hundreds of excited high school students in lecture halls and the Union as they attended the U’s annual Science Day.
Teachers, parents, and 520 students traveled from as far away as Cheyenne and as close as East High School to attend demonstrations and lectures given by faculty and staff from the College of Science. The five-hour event closed with a speech from the dean of the College of Mines and Earth Sciences Frank Brown and a drawing for $6,000 in scholarships, which are redeemable when and if the students decide to attend the U.
The 27 offered lectures covered STEM field topics from “What Can Flames, Fires, and Explosions Teach Us About Energy” to “The Science of Death & Mayhem” and everything in between. Amai Quader, a tenth grader from Highland High School said she attended “Earthquakes in Utah and Yellowstone” because she recently learned about fault lines in Ut. and wanted to get a better understanding of how they could affect her.
Quader said the three lectures she attended helped her discover which fields of science she is interested in enrolling when she attends the U.
Chylo Whitlock, a 12th grader from South Seveir High School said she has attended Science Day before even though she doesn’t intend to apply to the U until graduate school. She said she comes back because it is a fun event and she wanted to attend “Opportunities for Women in Science,” which is a lecture reserved for girls in their senior year of high school.
John Mark Hale, the instructor for “Earthquakes in Utah and Yellowstone” said he enjoys the opportunity to promote the research the College of Mines and Earth Sciences is doing.
Hale said his favorite part of Science Day “is recognizing students that were in Science Day lectures going through the U’s science programs. I have students I totlally remember talking to that I see walking the halls.”
Science Day began in 1991 as a way to generate interest among high school students in pursuing a STEM or Mines and Earth Sciences degree offered by the U. Marketing Manager Collin Barrett said the event began with just over 20 students and this year they had over 700 registered, though not all were able to attend due to poor weather conditions.
Academic Program Coordinator for the College of Science Lisa Batchelder said the U promotes Science Day in high schools throughout Ut. Batchelder also sends out information nationwide through the Office of Admissions to students who have sent their ACT scores to the U.
The students register for three lectures online in the fields they are interested in before coming. “I think it’s great,” Hale said. “The sooner students know what they want to do, the better students they become.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to come on campus,” Batchelder said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to recruit some great students.”
Batchelder said the event costs around $20,000 on average and is funded in part by sponsors and the College of Mines and Earth Sciences.
“It’s a great opportunity for students to come on campus,” Batchelder said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to recruit some great students.”
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