How are you going to help the students you teach get more interested, motivated, and excited THIS WEEK about becoming scholars in the areas of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math? Consider sharing the following six minute video and discussing it. Multiple researchers (including post-doc students) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (in Tennessee) describe their current research projects and what it’s like to work amidst some of the brightest minds in energy research. My favorite quotation is by Dr. Thomas Zacharia, Deputy Director for Science and Technology at ORNL, who says at 4:03 of the video:

This (working at a National Energy Laboratory) really is science as a contact sport… the reason you are here is you get to contact, you get to touch, you get to interact with the brightest minds in the world, work with the best, fastest, most unique, newest facilities in the world, and some of the most challenging scientific problems. It is like going to Disneyworld, only better.

The challenges at the end of this video are GREAT too! Are you ready to transform the nation’s transportation system? Are your students? If you don’t inspire them to rise up to these challenges as well as opportunities, who will? Bring on the challenges, and invite the smartest, most motivated people you know to join in the work. Don’t discriminate in this invitation, however: It’s videos like these which can help spark interest in STEM which can lead to motivation, hard work, and new inventions. It’s time to invent the future!

Meet the Robinsonsphoto © 2007 Kelly Walker | more info (via: Wylio)

The idea of using video to help students understand how COOL as well as powerful science and engineering can be reminds me of Intel’s “Sponsors of Tomorrow – Rockstar” video. If your students haven’t seen this one, you should share it also!

Learn more about opportunities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on their website www.orau.org/ornl, Facebook page, and by following @GovInternships on Twitter.

Science Education Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Hat tip to the Texas Tech University Graduate School listserv for grad students for sharing this video link.

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  • Kent Chesnut

    Wes,
    Great post, great video from ORNL.

    Our youngest son will be entering high school next year. Outside of personal safety, one of my greatest desires for Zach in high school is to discover his passions, interests, and skills and to engage in academic type activities which “fit” with those passions, … In other words, to realize that you can learn like crazy, work like crazy, and have a great time – all at the same time!

    It seems to me that the video helps us see how that can be accomplished (in STEM or in other fields):
    * Important projects
    * Big goals
    * Enthusiastic collaborators
    * Equipment, space, support as needed
    * Good fit between project and personal passion, interest, skills

    This post has inspired me to be thoughtful and intentional in encouraging Zach to engage in such projects – hopefully at school, but if not, to find some other venue for such activities.

    Sorry to be so wordy… Thanks for the inspiring post… have a great day,
    Kent

  • Marisa Moazen

    Thanks for promoting our video and website! ORNL hosts over 1,600 students, recent graduates and faculty each year in educational programs such as paid internships and research appointments. We are excited about our mission of training the next generation of scientists! Marisa, Recruiter, Science Education Programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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