Springdale Middle School Participates in National Pilot Experiment

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One middle school in Springdale is testing out a new science program that could be used across the country.

Hellstern Middle School’s Math & Science Instructional Facilitator Tammy Guthrie says, “They’re calling themselves scientists. They will – you’ll see engineers and physicists come out of these classrooms.”

Hellstern Middle School is turning up the heat in science classes through a new partnership with the University of Arkansas.

Shannon G. Davis with the University Of Arkansas Engineering Department says, “Connect educational programs to the research activity so that our education both in pre-college programs in schools like this – as well as programs at the University will be reflective of the research being conducted at the University.”

Davis says the program comes from a National Science Foundation grant and this is only the pilot program.    Students are creating electricity using thermal energy from water to power small objects – teaching them how to use wasted heat energy. Guthrie says, “I graduated from the Engineering Department at the U of A and I never had these types of opportunities in middle school or throughout any school and we’re just really excited to be able to provide these STEM type activities for our students.”

Science classes across the country could soon do the same experiment, and teachers at Hellstern are witnessing the impact firsthand. “I’ve seen kids that didn’t seem engaged get more engaged because they were excited at the fact that they were able to make something work and they did it themselves. They made it happen and it teaches them that they can do it,” says Davis.

Students will tour the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas this Spring, seeing the experiments they’re performing on a much larger scale.

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