Column: Worthington Middle School Science Club ready for 'world of possibilities'
WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Middle School Science Club nurtures a love of science and exposes students to many educational and career opportunities available in the fields of science.
Thanks to a unique partnership between Worthington Regional Economic Development Corporation (WREDC), Minnesota West Community and Technical College, the local bioscience industries, North Dakota State College of Science, University of Minnesota, Southwest State University, South Dakota State University and District 518, the Worthington Middle School Science Club went from a vision of ours to a reality. It's hard to believe that the end of our sixth year is quickly approaching. Our group of young scientists has had a great year filled with many highlights.
This fall, through monies from the WREDC and a grant from North Dakota State College of Science, we were able to visit the NDSCS campus in Fargo. While there, the students extracted their own DNA, used a million-dollar electron microscope, competed with each other in a robotic programming challenge and went into a clean room to observe how microchips are made. These hands-on activities offered our students real-world applications to the lessons learned in the classroom and gave them a vision for future opportunities in the science fields.
Last week's Worthington Regional Bioscience Conference was the culmination for the Science Club's research projects. For months leading up to the conference, students complete background research, conduct experiments and create displays to present their information. As instructors, we are always amazed that the conference attendees will stop everything and spend 30 minutes with our students discussing their projects. It is clear to us the attendees realize these students are the next generation of scientists who will carry on their work into the end of this century.
This May, we will take our annual trip to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. Students will see first-hand cutting edge research in the fields of heart surgery, alternative fuels and animal health. This visit not only opens their eyes to the different careers and opportunities in the fields of science -- it expands their world of choices and teaches them the sky is the limit.
We, along with the students involved in the Worthington Middle School Science Club, would very much like to thank all of our partners for giving us these exceptional opportunities. With their dedicated support and commitment to our program, our students gain a plethora of experiences and have their eyes are opened to a new world of possibilities. What better way to educate our future?
Abbey Fischbach and Tim Doeden are science teachers at Worthington Middle School.