It’s Electrifying! High Schoolers Introduced to the Electric Power Grid at STEM Event
Around sixty 9th to 12th grade female students from Arkansas high schools took part in a hands-on learning session provided by University of Arkansas Biology, Engineering, Agriculture, Computer Science, and Mathematics departments to showcase STEM research, labs, and potential careers. The yearly event, sponsored in part by the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), Girls Just Wan’na Have Fun: STEM Fun That Is! Year 4 is designed to encourage the girls’ interest in STEM by improving STEM-related opportunities and services available to them, dismantling the stereotype that STEM fields are mainly for males, and inspiring the girls to pursue collegiate careers in STEM-related occupations.
Throughout the day, all-female POETS graduate students gave a tour of the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT) and the High Density Electronics Center (Hi-DEC) facilities, along with the Wonders of Wattage (WoW) demos. Attendees were encouraged to discover the world of electricity and electromagnetics. From robotics to diamond cutting, they learned how they are used around us every day. They explored experiments such as a solar cart, a Jacob’s Ladder, a touch-free can crusher, and electromagnetic force demonstrators.