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Cafe Introduces Community to Value of STEM

stem-sized-150x144We may not always realize it, but science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) play critical roles in our lives. That was part of the message of STEM Day in Georgia, recognized earlier this month, and the impetus behind the STEM Café, a new initiative from Georgia Southern’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education (I2 STEMe).

The STEM Café brings to the community and Georgia Southern faculty issues that are both topical and relevant to our daily lives that rely on STEM. The first STEM Café was held May 3 and featured Georgia Southern University Geology and Geography Assistant Professor Dr. John van Stan who spoke on urban forest design. The discussion revolved around how much water trees hold and the impact of that water retention on communities. Also discussed was purposeful urban landscaping and its impact on the environment. Van Stan said that the science of measuring water retention in trees has advanced and scientists are working across disciplines with technologist and engineers to develop better ways to measure water retention in trees.

The I2STEMe will host additional STEM Cafe’s in the Fall and Spring 2014. The cafes provide an opportunity for faculty to present research and ideas relevant to Bulloch County to a wide ranging audience. The College of Education plays a critical role in the STEM institute through leadership, education and partnership. Part of the institute’s mission is to increase awareness of STEM and to encourage students at all levels to be engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Pictured: Dr. van Stan speaking at the first STEM cafe.

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