On Tuesday evening, the CSU students stopped at Kinteel Residential Campus Tuesday evening to visit with about 100 high school students staying at the dormitory, which houses Native American students who attend Aztec High during the school week and travel home on weekends.
The science outreach program is a way for CSU to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Aaron Benally, program coordinator for the College of Engineering's Women and Minorities in Engineering Program.
The outreach includes students from the engineering program, as well as from CSU's Native American Cultural Center and the Little Shop of Physics. The students are spending their spring break traveling to predominately Native American school in the Four Corners.
"By showing them some of this information and these projects, we hope to engage them into possibility seeking out degrees in these fields," Bennally said.
Often, native students are underrepresented in those fields of study and Bennally hopes engaging the students with fun scientific activities will increase their interest.
Scott da Silva, the Kinteel campus executive director, said he hoped after talking with the college students, the high schoolers would start thinking
"There is a world out there that includes math and engineering degrees they didn't think about," da Silva said.
At several stations set up in the cafeteria, students experimented with a high-speed camera, geiger counters and devices to measure electrical activity of the heart.
CSU junior Haeli Leighty showed students how to operate a thermal camera, which displays thermal radition. Leighty, a member of hands-on science outreach program Little Shop of Physics, taught students how objects or people with warm temperatures give off more thermal radiation than a cold ones.
"My favorite thing working with the Little Shop of Physics is showing the kids the science stuff and seeing their faces light up as they get excited," Leighty said. "It's really cool to see the kids excited about science."
Benally, the coordinator of the women and minorities engineering program, is an Aztec High graduate and former resident of Kinteel. He said he was glad to be able to bring the program back for a second year to the dormitory.
"Being able to share with the students, to be a role model, that's a big thing," Benally said. "To be a role model and be like, Wow, someone from this dorm did it,' is great."
Joshua Kellogg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt.