Educating the M&Z Generations

The Center for RNA Systems Biology (CRSB) is very interested in being a resource for younger age students so that they have access to, and are getting all that they need to appreciate the world and work of science, technology, engineering and math, as they prepare for higher learning and move into the paid work world.

You may have heard of the “M” and “Z” generations?  Though some say that “Z” is the generation that has never known a world without the Internet, cell phones or iPods, no one exactly agrees on when the Z generation begins, and the Millenial (aka “M”) generations ends.  Generation Z has also been called the iGeneration, and as of 2014-15, usually are school aged children 10 and younger.  Locally, K-12 educators and advocates generally refer to the “M” generation, or Millenials as children born by 2003, and “Z” as children born 2004 and more recently.  In either case, “M”, “Z” or iGeneration, are children working through their K-12 years.

YouSTEM

YouSTEM is a free web resource that aims to make it easy to find and browse information about local programs for K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Most of the listed programs are free! The types of programs listed include internships / lab volunteer positions, guided labs, and seminars.

Students should use YouSTEM to find local internships, volunteer positions, classes, camps, and conferences in the subjects that they are interested in. Parents and teachers can also use YouSTEM to find opportunities for a K-12 student.

Most of these programs are free for students or pay a stipend, the cost is indicated on the Program Summary on the Main Page. Additional information and details regarding the Program eligibility requirements and application are listed on the Program Info page for each program.

Stories from the Field: Fostering the Millennials in Science

CRSB Staff Supports High School Solar Science Academy

Did you know that Mount Diablo Unified School District’s 12.1-megawatt solar project is the World’s largest school based solar project?

Working with Sunpower, based in Richmond, CA, the District found a bold solution for savings to help with budget reductions and rising energy costs.

CRSB staff had the unique opportunity to be a guest judge at the Sunpower sponsored High School Science Academy in Richmond, California, this past Summer – to meet and talk with students and their teachers, as part of the UC Berkeley Coalition for Education & Outreach (CEO) whose mission to encourage diversity in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) professions.

About 100 academy students , from all over San Francisco’s East Bay, had a chance to participate in a stipended week long training and team competetion.  Presenting sponsor, Sunpower, lead by Renee Solari of Sunpower, and the Summer Academy Management Committee:  April Treece, of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership (CCEP) STEM Workforce Initiative, of Concord, California., spearheaded the effort.

Using a scoring process or rubric, each high school team’s presentation was evaluated by teams of judges on the following:

  • How rational and accurate was the team’s understanding of the solar energy science from the curriculum?
  • Drawing from varying sources of information how accurate and systematic was the final presentation? How accurate were the conclusions?
  • How polished, concise was the presentation?  To what degree did it include information relevant to solar design, building and analysis of project?

After each presentation, students had a chance to interview judges about their experiences leading to higher learning, about schools attended, and their own path into and through into STEM fields.

“It was an exciting and inspiring day. The student presentations were quite impressive and thoughtful. I learned that solar technology brings together many types of sciences:  biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, architecture, economics, accounting, as well as the psychosocial sciences. I was one of four judges, the only female in my group – and had a chance to meet scientists with different backgrounds – some who focused on distribution, construction, and design, from SunPower and other sponsors. My judge team included a physicist, electrical engineer, architect, and me, a professional, Health Educator. I also had a chance to meet many science teachers from around the Bay, which exciting and inspiring.”

Brigid Acuña, UC Berkeley – CRSB Outreach Coordinator

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2014 EAST BAY SOLAR SCIENCE ACADEMY