- Year 2023
- NSF Award #1949990
- Registration Current Noyce Scholar
- First Name Sarah
- Last Name Jekel
- Discipline Chemistry
- Institution Utica University
Utica University’s STEM departments have a long history of outreach in the community, and the Education Department is grounded in field experiences to help prepare future educators for their first years in the classroom. We developed our Noyce program to combine these strengths to give our Noyce Scholars experience teaching science laboratories to students in the area. In the 2022-2023 academic year, Utica University’s Noyce program established a relationship with Benton Hall Academy Elementary School, who scheduled four visits to our Utica University campus. We worked with their third-grade classes, preparing the same experience for four different classes of students who visited throughout the year. The topic recommended by Benton Hall was how we can design materials to protect ourselves from the environment, since that topic bridged all the subtopics throughout the year at Benton Hall Academy (weather patterns, how we measure the natural world, how we can use STEAM to design materials).
We created three modules that we ran with the students. The first two modules were run with the Chemistry Department and focused on modification of materials (fibers and plastics). The third module was run with Dr. Thomas Diana, a Noyce Co-Pi, and his education class and focused on the design of houses to withstand natural disasters. Everything was interactive and hands-on, and our Noyce scholars led all three modules from design (including learning goals and outcomes) through implementation.