Campus News

Students Explore Zoology, Flight, and Material Science through Northwestern University Partnership

During the second weekend in October, over 40 students in grades 3–8 gathered on the Hillsborough campus to take part in the first Nueva Weekend event of the year.

For the second year, Nueva is partnering with Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development in hosting their Accelerated Weekend Experience (AWE).

“This year, we were thrilled to have expanded Northwestern’s program to include third- and fourth-grade students. We had a full class of eighteen students from Nueva and beyond take part in the course Aerodynamics and Flight,” said Jim Morrison, director of Nueva Weekend. “Students examined the principles of flight, studied how weather affects flight safety, and applied their knowledge of engineering and critical thinking skills to create their own aircraft.” The class was led by Madeline McGuire, who drew on her experiences teaching in public and private schools and working at the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Leading her second AWE course at Nueva, UCSF PhD candidate in neuroscience Rose Larios worked with 14 fifth- and sixth-grade students during a course called Zoological Explorations: Animals & Their Behavior.  

Students explored the diversity of the animal kingdom, examining unique adaptations that animals make to their environments. The class discovered the behaviors many animals use to claim a territory, find food, avoid predators, find mates, and raise young. The course drew on current research and the observations Rose gathered during her time studying hummingbirds in the West Indies. “I want students to see what this work actually looks like in the field, to give them a sense of the what scientists are doing and how often new discoveries reveal themselves to researchers,” said Rose.

Also leading his second AWE program, Berkeley materials science and engineering PhD student John Dagdelen led 10 seventh- and eighth-grade students in Innovation and Design.

Over the two-day course, students identified materials in everyday objects and analyzed how a material’s physical properties can affect its engineering applications. Additionally, they had the opportunity to make functioning batteries and solar cells from scratch, manipulate the properties of metals through thermal processing, and design and prepare masks for photolithographic printing.

“We hope to hold a few more weekend events with Northwestern this year. Additionally, I am assembling a team of Nueva educators to reprise our own interdisciplinary Nueva Weekend program. Students, teachers, and families really enjoyed the Saturday program we designed last year for students in third and fourth grade,” said Jim. "We want to build upon that experience this spring."

For more information about Northwestern's Accelerated Weekend Experience and all upcoming events, please visit Nueva Weekend’s website.


 October 27, 2017

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