Kids Explore Science With Viz Prof

Child's science projectPlastic cup robots that walk on Popsicle sticks were among numerous innovative science projects demonstrated by third- fourth- and fifth-grade student-scientists at a showcase orchestrated by Francis Quek, professor of visualization at Texas A&M and a research team in a study aimed at finding ways to increase the involvement of children from underrepresented populations such as Latinos and African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

The audience at Neal Elementary School in Bryan, including the students’ families, Bryan ISD administrators, educators, and local media, watched as approximately 30 students from six classes demonstrated an array of devices — light projectors, chemical mixers, small heaters and more — all created with basic arts-and-crafts and electronics materials and powered by simple household batteries.

Patterned around the “maker movement,” Quek said the three-year, $1 million National Science Foundation study engages children in hands-on exploration and invention to spark interest in scientific discovery.

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