Buena Vista University's assistant professor of biology Melinda Coogan brought in a high school science class from East Sac recently to give them the opportunity to explore the science building as well as give her senior science students the opportunity to prepare and present a lab in front of students. the special day was even given a name - Beaver Science Day.
David Waggie, the East Sac County High School anatomy and physiology teacher, is a graduate of BVU; he was pleased to receive the invitation and also pleased to get his first glimpse of the new science building.
Coogan said it is important to share the campus.
"These types of outreach activities serve many functions," she said. "They may hopefully spark the interest of college-bound students and encourage them to pursue a career in teaching high school science after interacting with BVU seniors who are excited about sharing their vast content knowledge.
"The immediate goals of this event, however, are to provide BVU students with an opportunity to practice the implementation of laboratory activities with an actual group of high school students and bring area high school students to the BVU campus to experience our state-of-the-art laboratories and perhaps learn about new procedures and lab instrumentation. Ultimately, we hope to provide resources through our programs and facilities that help improve opportunities in science education within our region of Iowa."
In the one year she has been with BVU she has brought in several students from area schools. Last spring she worked with the BVU Science Club, and the campus sponsored a science day with Alta grade school students where they participated in frog dissections. Also during spring the BVU men's basketball team worked with eighth graders from Fort Dodge, where they conducted a science activity involving natural resource consumption. Her Biology 115 class (Introduction to Biological Science Labs have conducted hands-on science lab activities each week for eight weeks with the Storm Lake Middle School's after-school program. Future collaborations with area schools are always a possibility.
The East Sac County High School students were involved in hands-on lab activities within the science disciplines of biology and chemistry and have the opportunity to work in various labs housed within the BVU science building.
Presenting the labs were Nicole Fusco. Dakota City; Braden Studelska, Hudson, Wisc.; Stuart Jorgensen, Tyler, Minn.; and Patrisha Rosauer, Sac City. These four students are planning on pursing science teaching careers.