STEM Sessions 2021

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Since 2015, the Expo has hosted engaging STEM sessions for groups of students coming to the F-M area from rural communities (groups of 25 or less) to provide more educational opportunities on this day off-campus. Sessions are designed as hands-on opportunities that will develop an interest in a variety of Health, Tech, and Trades careers. Each session is 60-75 minutes long and are held three times on the day of the Expo (9:00 am, 10:30 am, and 12:30 pm). See below for current and past partnering organizations.

2021 STEM Sessions

  • Session 1 – Forensics – The Case of the Missing Diamond Maker, Hosted by North Dakota’s Gateway to Science
    • Work as forensic investigators and use techniques of forensic science to analyze evidence left behind at a crime scene. Use deductive reasoning to evaluate fingerprints, chromatography, fibers, smells, liquids, powders, shoe prints, and blood evidence to determine the criminal’s identity.
  • Session 2 – Cracking the Code, Hosted by EduTech
    • Students will explore the shift cipher to decrypt and encrypt secret messages using a paper shift cipher tool. Students will also use the micro:bit to encrypt messages in MakeCode using block programming. These processes are using a monoalphabetic substitution cipher that can spark an interest in cryptography!
  • Session 3 – Title coming…, Hosted by Inspire Innovation Lab

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Past STEM Sessions

  • What is 6ft long yet still microscopic? It is said that DNA provides the instructions for life itself. But how do four molecules repeated billions of times along the length of the human genome translate into a human being?  Come and discover more about DNA and even extract some of your own! It doesn’t hurt a bit!  Hosted by Inspire Innovation Laboratory.
  • Acids and Bases: Careers in laboratory research, healthcare, and the culinary arts require an understanding of chemistry; of special importance is an understanding of pH–the amount of acid or base in a solution.  In this workshop, we will discuss acids and bases, how they affect pH, and why pH is such an important concept. We will also discover how pH is measured and controlled in laboratory settings, and the effects that change in pH may have on other molecules in solution. Hosted by Discovery Express Kids.
  • Drone Robotics: Students will explore coding a mini-drone (Parrot Airborne Cargo), spherical robot (Sphero-SPRK), and a line-following robot (Ozobot). Block style programming provides a quick introduction of commanding drones/robots via code. Several challenges will be offered to students in small groups. Programming lines with specific colors and sequences to command Ozobots. Students will experience the joy of play and learning by programming. Hosted by EduTech.
  • Drone Technology in the Civil Engineering and Land Surveying Industry With the new technology in Unmanned Aerial Systems and photo processing software, the Civil Engineering and Land Surveying industry has been forever changed. Come see the new capabilities in our industry with the utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Everything from high-resolution aerial photos to accurate 3D models. Hosted by North Dakota State School of Science’s Construction Management Program.
  • Exploring the Universe in the Geodome: Students explore the universe in this state-of-the-art 3D simulation of the stars, learning about star formation, galaxies, nebula, and super-nova. Participants will “fly” in the Geodome in this immersive and memorable experience that focuses on aerospace careers.  Hosted by the University of North Dakota Department of Physics and Astronomy.

  • Scratch Programming: In careers related to Computer Science and Software Engineering, programming is an essential skill, particularly for those wanting to work in the gaming industry.  In this session, students will be challenged to develop a computer game using the Scratch Programming language. Hosted by the Software Engineering program at Valley City State University.
  • Engineering Challenge – Trusses: Commonplace to building structures are trusses, supporting roofs, and the heavy weight of snow. Trusses are widely used in building structures, bridges, airplanes, and supporting electric power lines. In this session, students will design a truss system, build a working model, then compete against other students and their designs for the system that supports the greatest load. Hosted by NDSU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

  • Egineering Challenge – Paper Table: For every ton of paper that gets recycled it saves 20 trees, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill, 7000 gallons of water and produces 73% less air pollution than making paper from new materials. What else can we use paper for? Using just newspaper and tape, can you design and build a table to support your weight? Can you collaborate with a small group of students in a team environment to brainstorm the best solution to this challenge and demonstrate resourcefulness and clever design using only basic materials? Hosted by the South East Education Cooperative
  • KidWinds Design Challenge:  Students experiment with the generation of electricity from wind using the KidWind systems, investigating blade number, size, and material.  Hosted by AgInspire and Inspire Innovation Laboratory.

  • Parachute Design Challenge: What makes the best parachute design? Students are asked to design a lightweight parachute system given challenging constraints. Experimenting and data collection are two themes that will be explored by engineers. Hosted by Moore Engineering.

  • Embedded Microcomputer Systems: Students will be introduced to the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino microcomputer systems. Hosted by EduTech.