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Launching Student Interest in Science

Scientists design experiments to increase excitement K-12 science education

A team of Cornell faculty and graduate students are developing modular lessons that engage students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities while stimulating interest in these fields. Their newly designed “Launch Tube” module allows students to work in teams to predict the trajectory of a tennis ball launched from different locations on a PVC track. The activity was piloted with the homeschooled students at the Ithaca Sciencenter and with middle school students at the Syracuse City School District.

Preliminary findings indicate that the activity stimulates interest in science. Students wrote, “You teach me and my other friends how to collect data, calculate averages,… It was fun learning how to measure in different ways. Each of you showed me how to be a true scientist and when I grow up I want to be a scientist. Thank you for teaching me this cool experiment.”