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i2STEMe hosts fall STEM Experience for Effingham students

Student feels temperature of test tube after experience led by chemistry assistant faculty member Eric Johnson, Ph.D. (pictured on left).

Faculty from various disciplines on Georgia Southern University’s campus participated in the fall 2017 STEM Experience hosted by the College of Education’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education (i2STEMe) on Nov. 3.

Lisa Stueve, Ed.D., the Institute’s outreach specialist, explained that STEM Experiences are “interactive hands-on lab experiences for K-12 students in STEM situations campuswide” with faculty often participating from many of the University’s colleges.

“We are hopeful that the experience will support STEM career engagement for students; encourage the state’s best and brightest to pursue opportunities at Georgia Southern University; and expose young scholars to STEM industry standards and best practices through practical application models,” said Stueve.

For the fall STEM Experience, i2STEMe hosted students from the Effingham College and Career Academy. Participants attended interactive sessions on topics including: anatomy and physiology, Arduino Programming with MATLAB, scientific studies in the herbarium, robotics, exploration of the Georgia Southern Museum, chemistry and an introduction to the College of Education’s Innovation Studio.

“This year’s STEM Experience was engaging and enriching for our students,” said Michelle Thompson, Ed.D., director of scientific research and Advanced Placement (AP) chemistry at the Effingham College and Career Academy.

“Students left Georgia Southern yearning to learn more about programs such robotics and dreaming of having an Innovation Studio of our own,” continued Thompson. “Without hesitation I would recommend this experience to other schools. There is a variety of topics presented that do not always find a way to intersect into the typical curriculum taught in schools.”

Faculty hosting sessions in the November event included: Diana Sturges, M.D., Rami Haddad, Ph.D., John Schenk, Ph.D., Rocio Alba-Flores, Ph.D., Fernando Rios-Gutierrez, Ph.D., Brent Tharp, Ph.D., Lucas Jensen, Ph.D., Eric Johnson, Ph.D., Jim LoBue, Ph.D., and Ria Ramoutar, Ph.D.

Instructional technology faculty member Lucas Jensen, Ph.D. (right) demonstrates one of the sound functions of LittleBits with student in the College of Education’s Innovation Studio.

STEM Experiences are hosted once per semester (spring and fall). The events are open to any school in the state for participation, however limited space is available for each event. Schools are charged a fee of $35 per student. The fee covers all activities in the event including lunch, admission to the University’s Museum, Botanic Gardens and Center for Wildlife Education, and consumables for lab experiences.

Students attending STEM Experiences must be accompanied by a school system appointed chaperone, and a minimum of one chaperone per 10 students is recommended according to Stueve. There is no limit or charge for chaperones.

Stueve says that sessions vary each semester based on the availability of faculty, however they can attempt to tailor sessions to a school system’s requests.

“Historically, we have had a great number of sessions and opportunities thanks to our partnering faculty across campus,” said Stueve. “The school system can have the flexibility to schedule their students according to their interests in the sessions that we are offering each semester.”

The next STEM Experience is scheduled for Friday, March 30, 2018. For more information about the spring STEM Experience, contact Stueve at or visit


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