Eighth-graders Learn Presentation Skills at First Kids Inquiry Conference at Springfield CollegeApril 2, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 1, 2011 -- The first Kids Inquiry Conference in Springfield will feature STEM Middle School eighth-grade students giving conference-style presentations, a skill that they will need in their future careers. The event, on Monday, April 4, 2011, begins at 8 a.m. in the Springfield College Fuller Arts Center, with breakout sessions around the campus at 8:55, 9:45 and 10:35 a.m.
Students chose topics and conducted research and experiments for 33 presentations. Among the topics are: Do plants grow faster in water or soil? Does the number of blades on a windmill affect the amount of energy it produces? What is the fastest way to make ice cream without a machine? Why didn’t more slaves in America resist?
The conference is modeled after a similar program at the University of Maryland, designed to build students’ confidence, experience and skills at giving presentations in a conference-like setting.
“These young students aspire to careers in which this experience will be very valuable,” said Charlene Elvers, Springfield College director of student volunteer programs. “Springfield College is happy to co-host the conference, and to augment it with an afternoon of programming about making college a part of students’ life plans.”
The conference is open to the public. Also attending will be students in all grades from STEM Middle School, parents, and members of the Springfield College campus community.
Following the conference, the eighth grade students will have lunch at the college, tour the campus, and attend demonstrations by Springfield College faculty members about college-level science learning. They will also participate in team-building activities, hear from Springfield College students about health and wellness, and make stress balls. Springfield College students in the Emerging Leaders Program helped plan and will conduct the afternoon program.