Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics—STEM, and therefore, STEM education—are vital to our future— and George Mason University’s Global Learning Institute seeks to be at the forefront of this important academic endeavor. Through a partnership with Mason’s College of Science and the AGM Institute, Mason will host a two-week summer boot camp for students interested in STEM fields, research, lab work, and how to find a rewarding science-related career.
During this two week program, students will engage in hand-on, experiential learning and lab-based intellectual experience in biology, physics, chemistry and forensic science. They will team up and work closely with GMU STEM faculty and students.
Students will break into teams for two two-hour modules per day that will focus on academic instruction and content-based activities, in addition to building a final design challenge together. Specifically, each team will:
1. Build a Sea Perch ROV, an aquatic rover developed by the Department of Navy to promote STEM among
students from 8th grade to undergraduate level.
Building the unit will require development of basic lab skills.
Understanding how the unit works will be the subject of the Physics of the Sea Perch discussions.
These discussions will include hands-on lab exercises that examine fundamental physics concepts essential to the building and use of the Sea Perch.
2. Conduct a biological (aquatic microbiology and ecology) and chemical (environmental chemistry) investigation of the ecosystem. Experimentation will include field study as well as in-lab essential exercises that will develop skills required to analyze biological and chemical data collected.
3. Students will complete a pre- and post- assessment as well as write a reflection of the lab experience at the end of the week.
These products will be used for study and to improve the experience for future students.