Western Water Issues Take Center Stage as Colorado Springs-Area Schools Engage in Science Events

By Kelley, Debbie | The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), February 7, 2019 | Go to article overview

Western Water Issues Take Center Stage as Colorado Springs-Area Schools Engage in Science Events


Kelley, Debbie, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)


Education’s three Rs are sharing the limelight with the next letter of the alphabet, S for science.

Discovery Canyon Campus middle school’s 250 sixth-graders are learning about “The Importance of Water” this week, with a mobile science center on wheels called The Mobile Earth + Space Observatory, or MESO.

The lessons culminate with a community STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Festival 4-8 p.m. Friday.

Students are interacting with scientist educators from the Colorado Springs-based National Space Science & Technology Institute, as they explore the water cycle, watersheds, water purification and water conservation.

After school, students can explore Earth and space science using telescopes.

The weeklong program has been a year in the making, as sixth-grade science teachers Emily Heinrich and Licette Smith coordinated with the NSSTI staff to integrate MESO activities with curriculum.

The goal: engage students to experience firsthand what it is like to be a scientist.

“The program is designed to reach students who might not otherwise have access to the scientists and instrumentation provided by the MESO,” said Robert Sallee, chairman of the NSSTI board.

The project teaches students vital environmental issues relating to Colorado water supplies with an emphasis on community-based concerns, he said.

The Women’s STEM Career Fair will be held 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, 4425 Arrowswest Drive.

Presented by the Space Foundation and the Zonta Club of the Pikes Peak Area, the event will highlight economic prospects in this region for careers in STEM, along with practical advice and resources to help women enter or switch to a STEM field.

The keynote speaker is Jill Tietjen, an electrical engineer and president and CEO of Technically Speaking, an electric utilities consulting firm she founded in Greenwood Village.

She has written or co-authored eight books and more than 100 technical papers.

A strong advocate for women and girls in the STEM fields, Tietjen establishes scholarships for women in engineering and technology, and nominates women for awards and halls of fame. She was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

The ticket price of $35 includes breakfast and lunch. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-stem-career-fair-tickets-50927407246?aff=mcivte.

The annual Pikes Peak Regional Science Fair will be held Feb. 23 at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in Berger Hall in the University Center. …

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