Greater Oregon STEM Mission
A regional partnership cultivating a community that values STEM learning, prepares youth for successful STEM careers, and builds pathways and pipelines to meet workforce needs.
Realize regional prosperity through a thriving STEM workforce and career‐ready rural youth.
STEM AROUND THE REGION
A STEM CAREER PATH LIKE NO OTHER
Chief Corpus is an impressive figure. A STEM professional with PGE (Portland General Electric), Chief has a varied background and an interesting path that led him to his current position as Generation Training Specialist with responsibility for all training across the PGE fleet of 9 power plants and its 540 employees. This means that he has to know the entire operation of a power plant and be prepared to arrange appropriate training for all STEM professionals. You might think that he landed this job because he aimed early at a career in engineering. Not so. Chief’s path to the job he loves and excels came through a winding road from medical technology, to biochemistry, to medicine, electrical technology and now management. He shares his career path with young people to encourage them to explore and to consider the multiple options they have to pursue a college degree or a technical path or both. Read his whole story at: http://go-stem.org/voctech-ed/
For more stories of people engaged in STEM, see: http://go-stem.org/newsletters/
- June 17 – June 22: Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute, is now accepting applications from regional high school students and teachers to attend the week-long residential field studies program held June 17-22, 2018 at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. CCSI began in 2015 as a collaborative project with partners from Oregon State Parks, Greater Eastern Regional Solutions and Eastern Oregon University. Beginning this year, EOU has taken a lead role in coordinating the program. Check out the website (eou.edu/cottonwood-crossing) to learn more about the projects that will take place this year and to access the application portal. Please forward this opportunity to any students or teachers who would be interested
- June 18-22: MedQuest Camp
Each month GOSTEM will showcase a different STEM Launch Point and the connections that can be explored in each STEM discipline. These stories are quick summaries of interesting people and circumstances where using STEM was as an integrated way of thinking and necessary to solve the problem. The story we offer in this month’s newsletter is Carrie Everson: Frontier Chemist.
Imagine it is the 1870s. You are the owner of a gold mine that has been played-out. You are out of money. And now, your husband flees to Mexico! What shall you do? Carrie Everson was precisely in that pickle, but Carrie was no ordinary cucumber! Uncommon in her era, she had completed college and had a significant education in chemistry. Her scientific mind grappled with the predicament: a pile of ore and no way to extract the tiny gold particles hiding in the dust. The lore she had picked up from miners was that the tiniest particles of gold were missed by the sluicing and mechanical process. They could be seen floating away on the soap suds when the miner’s clothes were laundered. With this observation, her understanding of chemistry, and now an effort to engineer a process, Carrie Everson began a journey that would earn her a patent that could save her mine, and perhaps, many others.
In Carrie Everson’s situation, she knew her science (Chemistry), invented an apparatus to skim the soapy water (Technology), designed a process or protocol with oils, detergents, and fine mineral ores (Engineering), and ultimately had to prove-out the utility of this solution by calculating the gold yield per ton and cost as a ratio of earnings (Mathematics).
For the student, we can ask STEM questions: What chemistry did she know that she applied to this real problem? We can explore the nature of various minerals, their elemental structure and relative densities. What was the technology of the day and how did gold escape from miner’s processes? We can use some typical tools to mechanically separate metals from sand to understand how this might happen. What are many processes used in industry to remove precious minerals? We can try-out several kinds of mineral extraction through leaching, electrolysis, and static separation. These explorations, their instructions, and teacher guide are available athttps://sites.google.com/a/
STEM Launch Points are featured on the GOSTEM home page at http://go-stem.org/ This month is a story about a man that almost single-handed, destroyed the atmosphere. Check it out! GOSTEM would like to collect your stories and contexts that connect young people to explorations in STEM. Send us your ideas! Contact email@example.com