Message from Dean Giordano – July 2021
To all COSAM Faculty, Staff, and Students,
As we approach the start of the fall semester, COSAM’s Office of Outreach has been doing a terrific job of keeping learning opportunities abundant for our community during the challenges of the last year.
Throughout the pandemic, Outreach remained very active developing new programs and events for the community. They created at-home STEM kits with engaging ways for K-5 students to learn about science called maSTErMinds. They hosted virtual Science Café/Supper programs via Zoom with COSAM faculty discussing interesting topics for families to enjoy together. And our robotics center, SCORE, hosted virtual robotics tournaments for elementary, middle and high school students across the state.
While meeting safety guidelines, Outreach gave families a chance to join activities in-person with proper social distancing protocols. The team created a new COSAM Campfire program and hosted several Getting Under The Surface (GUTS) programs featuring COSAM faculty and graduate students. They also developed multiple self-paced geocaching adventures around the arboretum that included prizes and souvenir tokens. SCORE mentored 11 community-based elementary and middle school robotics teams that met once a week for five months in a socially-distanced format.
The Greater East Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair (GEARSEF) was held virtually. Three Science Olympiad tournaments were conducted through virtual and satellite events in lieu of the traditional on-campus format. More than 70 middle and high school teams participated in an online statewide competition and approximately 20 elementary teams competed remotely with medals and trophies sent directly to the schools.
COSAM’s Office of Outreach is now busier than ever holding several dozen Science Matters and SCORE camps. These programs offer hands-on activities for elementary through high school students during the summer break helping to prevent summer slide. In addition, SCORE is hosting five trainings for teachers this summer that will impact 200 teachers from across the state.
As a land-grant university, COSAM’s Office of Outreach strengthens our relationship with our local communities. They enhance how we give back to our state through meaningful outreach that ignites a passion for lifelong learning and science in future generations.