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Nurturing the Next Generation of Scientists

Winning sixth grade Science Fair project

Winning sixth grade Science Fair project

While Brookhaven’s primary role as a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory is to produce excellent science, the DOE mission that we follow also includes an educational component.

At the Lab, our Office of Educational Programs (OEP) designs, develops, and implements education initiatives and facilitates workforce development to educate new generations of scientists, engineers, technicians, and teachers.

Educational opportunities abound for students of all ages. There are programs for 1st through 12th graders at the Science Learning Center. A high school research program is offered, as well as undergraduate and graduate college internship programs. OEP has programs for minorities, cooperative agreements with local colleges, and holds professional development workshops for teachers. Science competitions, essay contests, and science fairs are held annually. To learn more about our educational programs, read the stories below and visit http://www.bnl.gov/education.

2012-2844  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Preparing Students for the Workforce

STEM Hub partners

STEM Hub partners attend the Long Island STEM Hub Summit at Farmingdale State College

The newest initiative from the Office of Educational Programs is the Long Island STEM Hub. In partnership with the Long Island Museum of Science and Technology, the Long Island Works Coalition, the Long Island Cradle of Aviation Museum, and many others, this program focuses on preparing students to become part of the Island’s high-tech workforce through enhanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) experiences.

One of ten such programs forming in the Empire State STEM Learning Network, the Long Island STEM Hub will develop resources for local businesses, school districts, students, parents, teachers, universities, and worker-training operations to address STEM workforce needs in the region. The Hub will support the coordination of local resources to provide enhanced STEM learning opportunities and real-world STEM work experience training for students, teachers, and unemployed/underemployed or displaced workers, with the end goal of significantly boosting the Island’s technical workforce. To learn more, visit http://www.bnl.gov/stemhub/.

2012-2845  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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BNL Allocates NSLS Beamtime to Students

BNL staff with InSynC teachers, students, and parents

BNL staff with InSynC teachers, students, and parents

Launched in 2010, in collaboration with Brookhaven’s Office of Educational Programs and scientists at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), Introducing Synchrotrons into the Classroom (InSynC) is an opportunity to introduce synchrotron science to students at a young age. The program enables teachers and students to gain onsite and remote web-based access to the Lab’s light source through a competitive, peer-reviewed proposal process. Participating teachers and students learn to formulate hypothesis-driven scientific problems and use the nation’s large user facilities to solve them.

Teachers take part in an intensive three-day synchrotron training program that includes an introduction to synchrotron techniques, hands-on experiments, tours of the NSLS, and proposal-writing sessions. To date, 40 middle school and high school science teachers from 33 Long Island school districts have participated in the training.

Following the training, teachers and their students formulate a hypothesis and a set of experiments using conventional and synchrotron-based methods that use x-rays, ultraviolet light, or both. An NSLS “beamtime” proposal is written and submitted to be reviewed and scored by a panel of synchrotron scientists and science educators. The proposals scoring the highest are allocated beamtime. The students prepare for their experiment and on the designated day, the teacher and several students join scientists at the NSLS where they connect with their classroom via web conferencing and perform their experiment.

Islip Middle School students experiencing the InSynC program

The InSynC program has supported experiments in earth and environmental sciences, bioenergy, and chemistry. Students have presented their results at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, at the annual NSLS Users Meeting, and for the Lab’s Summer Sunday program. It is anticipated that some student results from InSynC will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. To learn more, contact Scott Bronson at sbronson@bnl.gov.

2012-2846  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Making the Most of Suffolk's Open Spaces

Student display at the OSSP celebration

Student display at the OSSP celebration

Brookhaven’s Open Space Stewardship Program (OSSP), which began in January 2006, cultivates partnerships between schools and land stewards in local communities. Students in grades K through 12 are involved in authentic environmental research on properties in their own communities, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility for open space within their neighborhoods.

OSSP now has students from 35 Suffolk County schools participating. The program is designed to achieve goals that include benefiting land stewards in the management of their property, helping students learn about the scientific process through working with real-life data in the field, promoting scientific literacy, and encouraging students to consider careers in science and technology.

Each June, students and teachers who participate in the program are invited to the Laboratory for an OSSP evening celebration at which students display and present their work to teachers, parents, scientists, and others in the environmental community.

2012-2847  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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Happenings

  • February 1 – Noon recital. Nadejda Vlaeva, an international performer who has given solo piano recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe and North America, will give a recital that will include works by Bach/Saint-Saéns, Liszt, and von Bulow, Berkner Hall Auditorium.
  • February 9 – Community Advisory Council meeting, 6:30 p.m., Berkner Hall, Room B

*The above events are free and open to the public. Visitors to the Laboratory age 16 and older must bring a photo ID.

2012-2848  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office