DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — From robots, to homemade cars, to unbreakable eggs – you’ll find them all at an education conference in Durham this week.
Teachers from across the state are learning new ways to get students interested in science and math. Meanwhile, students are showing off the results of new teaching strategies.
There was a giant catapult designed to hurl objects hundreds of feet. But it was also a physics lesson. “We were studying kinematics and projectile motion,” said student Maddie Taylor.
A group of high school students from Tri-County Early College in Cherokee County put the project together in physics class and presented it to other students at the Scaling STEM conference.
The conference brings together teachers, students and corporations focusing on moving from textbook learning to hands-on projects in science, math and technology.
Ainissa Ramirez scientist, author 12:32:10 “What we need to do is get away from looking at things like boring facts and making sure we get the right answer on a test.” said Ainissa Ramirez a scientist and an author. “If we tell stories, if we have projects that are meaningful to kids that will get them to be encouraged.”
Ben Owens, a science and math teacher, assigns projects like building a catapult or even a gravity car. “I can get students who were otherwise disengaged in the process, the light had gone out and now they’re excited again about science ,” Owens said.
The students are proud to show off their accomplishments. The teachers want them to also understand the science behind it.
“It’s not just all fun and games,” Owens said. “I will stack any of my students up and ask ‘Can you defend what you’re doing? Can you justify what you do? Can you show me the physics’ and they can and that’s the really cool thing.”
The Scaling STEM conference continues through Wednesday.