Walsh STEMM Academy Encourages Creative Exploration


School News

Local high school students explored more than just the natural sciences during Walsh’s first-ever STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) Summer Academy, held on campus July 11-15.

"We wanted to engage students in activities that stimulated their imaginations so that they remain interested in the natural sciences. We hope the students learned that although science is practiced systematically, it requires creativity, imagination," said Walsh Associate Professor of Chemistry Peter Tandler, Ph.D., STEMM Camp Advisor. "We also wanted the students to learn that the challenges facing society today are often interdisciplinary and in order for us to address the issues, scientists have to be collaborative and inventive."

Led by Dr. Tandler and Chair, Division of Mathematics and Science and Professor of Biology Jacqueline Novak, Ph.D., the week-long camp was designed for students in grades 10-12. The week provided a hands-on experience for students to conduct experiments on muscles and the heart, learn how genetic information is expressed, build a solar fuel cell, and synthesize a variety of molecules to study how the chemical properties differ.

"We hope the students got a better appreciation for the scientific method and learned how to apply it to current problems," said Dr. Tandler. "Lastly, we wanted the students to have fun and see science not as a collection of facts that they memorize for a test, but that it is a process that involves observing, questioning, hypothesizing, and testing."

Experiments during the week included:

  • Cardio Physiology
  • Chemistry of Odors with students synthesizing molecules
  • Construction of Solar Cells  
  • Molecular Biology with students running an electrophoresis
  • Environmental Sciences with the students constructing water filters

Walsh’s Summer Academy offerings will continue July 18 with the Shark Tank 101 Entrepreneurship Academy and the Coding Academy, which will begin July 25.

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