With an educational slide show set to music, and some demonstrations that include loud explosions, bright flashes and flames, "Energy and U" ignites students' interest in science. It also brings students to the University of Minnesota campus, and gives them the opportunity to meet and engage with university professors.
Energy and U' shows to bring 4,500 K-12 students to campus to learn about science
University of Minnesota President Kaler to join in the fun at Jan. 10 show
Media Note: Members of the media should check in with Eileen Harvala when arriving at the show to ensure that only students with media releases are photographed and videotaped.
Eileen Harvala, Department of Chemistry, email@example.com, (612) 624-0831
Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org, (612) 626-7959
Kristin Anderson, University News Service, email@example.com, (612) 624-1690
January 6, 2012
Explosions, flames and rock music—they’re all part of a unique and fun University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering outreach program that aims to interest elementary and secondary school students in science.
About 4,500 students from metro area schools are expected to attend the “Energy and U” shows at the University of Minnesota at 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, through Friday, Jan. 13, in 100 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis. University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler will be attending the 9:30 a.m. show with students on Tuesday, Jan. 10. Due to space constraints, the shows are not open to the public.
This month’s shows include additional presenters, reorganized demonstrations, new music, and extended outreach to students in the seven-county metro area. With an educational slide show set to music, and some demonstrations that include loud explosions, bright flashes and flames, "Energy and U" ignites students' interest in science. It also brings students to the University of Minnesota campus, and gives them the opportunity to meet and engage with university professors.
"We try to emphasize that they, too, could do what we do every day," said chemistry professor David Blank, one of the creators of "Energy and U. "
"Energy and U" shows focus on how energy can be stored and interconverted in many ways, and that chemical conversions play a key role. "We teach kids that they cannot make or destroy energy, they can just change its form," Blank said.
"Energy and U," which began in 2006, is a specialized outreach program of the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering and its Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. In addition to the shows this month, another 4,500 students are expected to attend "Energy and U" shows in May.
Outreach to schools with high percentages of students of color and students receiving free or reduced-priced lunch—an indicator of poverty—is an important component of the Energy and U outreach efforts. The University of Minnesota Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) offsets bus transportation costs for participating schools.