May 31, 2009
The MUW Explorer will make waves again this summer on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
The floating laboratory and Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center will be full of activity for free workshops that are a part of Mississippi University for Women''s Science Enrichment Program.
Kenny Langley, Science Enrichment Program outreach coordinator, said students who have an interest in science and hands-on educational activities or educators who would benefit from one of the topics being offered are encouraged to participate.
The first workshop, "Ecologies of Mississippi and the Deep South," is scheduled for June 8-12. "A Drop in the Bucket" is the second session for students, slated for June 22-26. The third workshop for teachers, also titled "A Drop in the Bucket," is set for July 13-17.
The final event, "The Earth and Beyond," will be held July 27-29.
Langley noted that slots are still available for all of the workshops.
He said the goal of the workshops is for participants to gain a greater respect and understanding for the science topics covered. "This should lead to a greater literacy in science and should translate to a more informed citizenry. People who are well informed make better decisions and are better all-around stewards."
In addition to knowledge, Langley said he hopes the workshops will be inspirational.
"Most people choose a profession based on a turning point in their life when they were exposed to something great. Oftentimes that occurs in the classroom or on a trip with school or family," he added. "We''re hoping to provide an experience for kids that will create a spark that will drive them toward a great career in a scientific field. Who knows, maybe a past participant of one of our workshops will go on to be a lead environmental researcher, develop a cure for a terrible illness or send the first people to Mars or beyond."
The program is made possible through a congressional grant.
All workshops are free of charge to participants. Students of all backgrounds and ability levels are encouraged to apply. CEUs and stipends are available to teachers who attend the workshops. For more information, visit http://www.muw.edu/sci_math/sep/ or call Langley at 662-329-7379 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Details on workshops being offered in the fall for teachers and students will be posted online later this summer.