Cutting Edge Science Club students learn about algae for biofuel research
MIDLAND, Pa., Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Interacting directly with important figures in the science community is a rare opportunity for high school students, but that is exactly what students taking the Lincoln Interactive online curriculum were able to do in an online video chat with Dr. Scott Twary, a leading plant physiologist and algae researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).
The students, as members of the Cutting Edge Science Club, participate in monthly chats with LANL researchers. Dr. Twary answered a wide range of questions from participating students on topics from the physiology of algae to potential applications of algae as a biofuel and as a power plant emission scrubber.
The video chat was moderated by Caroline Hardman, STEM Program Coordinator with the National Network of Digital Schools, which is the developer of the Lincoln Interactive online curriculum. Steve Stringer, with LANL's Technology Transfer Division, also participated. The Cutting Edge Science Club chats are the result of a cooperative agreement between LANL's Technology Transfer Division and NNDS to develop curriculum support materials, such as LANL-featured educational videos and other science and engineering-related opportunities for high school students.
"We are excited to present this really amazing opportunity to students. In order for the United States to remain competitive in global innovation, we need to introduce young students to science, engineering, and technology in unusual and engaging ways," said Hardman. "Our monthly chats with researchers are popular and we believe that this innovative educational opportunity provides real benefits, not only for students, but for the researchers as well."
Students participating in the chat are taking an assortment of science courses and range in grade level from middle to high school.
Dr. Twary, who participated in a chat during last year's program, plans to participate again next year: "It is very rewarding to reach out and discuss science with the students. They are the future and helping them to understand and explore new ideas is fun. I especially enjoy their unique perspectives. It helps me become a better communicator of my work to the public."
Steve Stinger, Industrial Fellow with LANL participates in each CES Club expert chat, "Los Alamos National Laboratory is pleased to have such a long-lived collaborative relationship with Lincoln Interactive that focuses on science of national and international importance. The opportunity to reach young minds with the challenge and the excitement of working on cutting edge issues, to create new knowledge, and to encourage them to consider themselves capable of becoming scientists, too, is priceless."
Upcoming experts featured in CES Club chats include Dr. Philip Jones, Team Leader of LANL's Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling program, and Dr. Jeff Heikoop, Lead Scientist with LANL's Earth and Environmental Sciences Division.
About NNDS and Lincoln Interactive: The National Network of Digital Schools is a 501(c)3 non-profit management foundation, dedicated to providing the highest quality K-12 online curriculum and comprehensive management services to traditional brick and mortar schools, charter schools and cyber schools focused on expanding educational opportunities for students. As a community foundation, NNDS also lends financial support to educational initiatives that expand opportunities for young people. NNDS empowers its partners to expand curriculum options by offering accelerated courses, alternative education and credit recovery courses – as well as developing more effective educational programs for special education students. Lincoln Interactive is also the premier choice for students who learn best from the safety of their own home.
Contact: Toni Cicone Craig
SOURCE National Network of Digital Schools