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  • Science Night in Dallas

    Posted February 4th, 2015 by Emily Nicholson

    Throughout the year, the Family Science and Engineering Night (FSEN) team including chemistry instructor Margie Haak and engineering professor Skip Rochefort, at Oregon State University visit elementary schools around Corvallis bringing with them fun hands-on activities that are designed to get students and their families interested in science.

    On Thursday, January 22, the FSEN team found themselves at Oakdale Elementary in Dallas, OR. Read more about it and see some pictures of the science activities in the article published in the Polk County Itemizer-Observer here.

    If you are interested in hosting a Family Science and Engineering Night at your school, please contact the Office of Precollege Programs at or 541-737-9424 to discuss details.

    Looking for New High School Academic quiz-bowl Coaches

    Posted December 4th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    Calling all High School Teachers!

    Who: You and your enthusiastic High School Students
    What: An academic quiz-bowl called The Salmon Bowl
    Where: Oregon State University, Corvallis
    When: Saturday, February 28th, 2015
    Why: It’s a blast, the student’s love it, and it expands learning beyond the classroom!

    The Salmon Bowl is Oregon’s Regional Science Bowl, one of 25 bowls within the National Science Bowl system designed to promote ocean and marine literacy. We would love you to coach a team of students!

    We encourage you to start a team, as the Salmon Bowl provides an excellent opportunity for students to apply knowledge, win prizes, and gain out of the classroom experiences in a university setting (think college applications!). Plus, you as a Coach can gain recognition within your school and school district as an academic and scholastic leader.

    Most importantly, winners of the Salmon Bowl will be provided an opportunity to travel to Nationals to challenge the winning teams of other regional bowls!

    We hope you consider joining us for this year for Salmon Bowl 2015! For more information on coaching a team, please visit the National Ocean Sciences Bowl website. We also have a great network of veteran coaches that would be happy to help answer questions and get you started!

    Please do not hesitate to contact Lindsay Carrol, Salmon Bowl 2015 Coordinator with any questions ( Also, if you would be interested in watching this year’s event with the goal of coaching next year, they would be happy to have you as their honored guests in February! Please contact Lindsey for more information.

    Volunteer with ASPIRE

    Posted November 14th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    “Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Pierson

    The ASPIRE program is looking for volunteers in the Milwuakie, OR area. Consider becoming an ASPIRE volunteer at Rex Putnam High School and make an impact on a student’s life. Meet with students one-on-one, help navigate through their college-readiness checklist, and encourage them towards a bright and possible future.

    For more information about the ASPIRE mentoring program, please visit:

    If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lindsay Charlesworth:

    503-353-5870 Ext. 38536

    Rex Putnam High School
    4950 SW Roethe Road
    Milwaukie, OR 97267


    LEGO 3D Chocolate Printer

    Posted October 27th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    Some high school students spend their summers hanging with friends or enjoying the summer sun. One particular high school student in Corvallis spent it designing a 3D printer that creates structures made of chocolate.


    Albert Cai, a student at Crescent Valley High School, spent the summer participating in an internship program with Dr. Skip Rochefort at Oregon State University. During the duration of the internship, Cai and Dr. Rochefort created a machine almost entirely out of LEGO pieces that, given commands through a computer, will robotically create structures out of chocolate. Its purpose is not to create edible works of art, but for outreach efforts as well as teaching MATLAB (a computer programming software) to OSU students.


    Cai was inspired to create this 3-D Chocolate printer out of LEGOs by a story about Matthew Krueger who had made a 3D printer out of LEGOs that printed hot glue. The design is based on Krueger’s design, but was edited for stability and to fit the pieces available to the team. In total, the machine has four motors, 6 touch sensors, 2 NXT bricks, and many LEGO pieces. The only non-LEGO piece is the chocolate extruder.


    How does it work? The chocolate is melted by putting chocolate chips into an aluminum can which is then boiled in hot water. After it is melted, it is placed into the hopper on the extruder. The team programs the printer to create a specific design, and from there, the machine does the rest. The team just sits back and watches it create the desired shape.


    Thinking as a true engineer, Cai thought of various ways that his design can be improved including adding temperature controls to create a constant process, heating the chocolate extruder to prevent clogging, cooling the base plate, and making a steadier base.


    To see Albert and Dr. Rochefort’s chocolate printer in action, check out the video found here!


    For more information on what 3D printing is, check out this article found here.

    High School Students Genotype Wheat Varieties in OSU Summer Camp

    Posted September 16th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    In a collaborative effort between the Gramene project, Plant Ontology Project, and our very own STEM Academy at OSU, twelve 9th-12th grade students participated in a DNA Biology Camp. During the camp they heard lectures, used hands-on models, and conducted laboratory experiments. By using DNA model kits, students were able to create a DNA sequence, its complementary RNA strand. Students also isolated genomic DNA from wheat and analyzed them using agarose-gel electrophoresis.

    For more information about what the students did during the camp, see the article on the Gramene website. For more information on what STEM Academy has to offer, visit their website.

    East Meets West

    Posted July 24th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    Some 7th and 8th graders in our TAG Programs’ Outside the Box learned about the Chinese culture in the program “East Meets West.” More on what the students did can be seen, including a few YouTube videos, on the

    Inside Outside the Box

    Posted July 24th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    One class of 7th and 8th graders in our Outside the Box program created a blog of their own called “Inside Outside the Box”. The students wrote stories, posted pictures, and hosted interviews capturing a glimpse into the other Outside the Box classes.

    Take a look!

    SESEY 2014

    Posted July 24th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    The Precollege Programs’ Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) is a program primarily for high school girls and ethnic minorities traditionally underrepresented in science and engineering. Students are paired with a faculty mentor in engineering to conduct a mini-research project.

    2014, its 17th year at Oregon State University, SESEY had around 60 participants as well as college-aged counselors and mentors. Skip Rochefort, an associate professor in chemical engineering and executive director of Precollege Programs said that the goal of the camp is more t inspire studetns to pursue STEM careers, especially engienering, than it is to recruit students to OSU.

    Check out the article featured in the Corvallis Gazette Times (complete with a few photos) here.

    Phronesis Lab Philosophy Seminar

    Posted July 24th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson


    In collaboration with College Hill High School, Phronesis Lab: Experiments in Engaged Ethics offers annually a ten-week philosophy seminar on peace and social justice designed for and by at-risk youth. The instructional team is comprised of graduate students in the MA in Applied Ethics program, senior undergraduate philosophy students, and community volunteers. High-school students take the seminar for social science credit towards their diploma requirements. The seminar is part of Phronesis Lab research in support of the hypothesis that philosophy curriculum focused on engaged, community-level, social-justice content increases student-citizen identity, participation, motivation, and self-efficacy. Here’s a ppt sharing details of the initial seminar offering in the spring of 2013; The Gazette Times did a front page feature on the 2014 offering – check out the story in the GT. Phronesis Lab is directed by Drs. Sharyn Clough and Stephanie Jenkins. Visit them at

    2014 Engineering Club Carnival at OSU

    Posted May 16th, 2014 by Emily Nicholson

    The College of Engineering will host its third annual Engineering Club Carnival on May 29th, 2014 from 1-5PM. The event will be held on OSU’s campus at the Kelley Engineering Center. All proceeds go directly to the Linn Benton food bank.

    There will be approximately 18 different carnival booths/games hosted by various engineering clubs. Participants can play games with tickets purchased at a booth at the carnival. Tickets can be purchased for a dollar or a canned food item. These tickets will also enter the buyer into a drawing for some prizes.

    Children are encouraged to attend. Their $1 or canned food donation will get them 5 tickets to participate throughout the carnival, but will not enter them into the larger prize drawings.

    Some of the games scheduled so far include:

    • Dunk Tank
    • Guess the Material
    • Corn Hole
    • Dart Toss
    • Lumber Jenga
    • Water Pong
    • Fox Hunt
    • Geiger Search and Neutron/Isotope Ball Toss
    • Baja Car Display
    • Android Toss
    • Solar Car Photo Booth
    • BioDiesel Cart Showcase

    Take an afternoon, engage in engineering activities, and support the Linn Benton Food Share!

    More information can be found at the Carnival’s website.