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Seed to STEM lessons connect school with careers

Martha Nowak, a K-12 Engagement coordinator at K-State Olathe, worked with eighty-five 9th grade biology students who visited campus and rotated in groups through several science programs. Nowak said, “I used the Seed to STEM micro-pipetting skills lesson, but modified it to reflect their high school initials (ONHS) in the school colors of blue and red.”

As part of the day, university researchers talked to the students about their work and how important accuracy, creativity, and communication skills are in the field of research. They also outlined their own career pathway. Nowak noted, “I owe Seed to STEM a debt of gratitude for providing a lesson connection to the importance of lab skills and how marketable micro-pipetting skills can be in today’s world—$13/hour with benefits if you have a H.S. diploma!”

One student said, ”We just use the clear eyedroppers at our school, and the teacher said it is important to keep the eyedropper totally vertical. I didn’t know you could be more accurate than that.” Another added, “I had no idea what a difference it makes to have the tip touch the vial’s side when you get the liquid out. You can see the difference in volume if you look at it sideways.”

Nowak appreciated Seed to STEM’s summer workshop. She said, “It 
helped me be more confident using tools of measurement with students. It gets the materials in the hands of those who are our future researchers!”

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