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Paul Simmonds and Julianne Wenner

Paul Simmonds, assistant professor of physics, and Julianne Wenner, assistant professor in curriculum, instruction and foundational studies, are collaborating with Garfield Elementary School and the Discovery Center of Idaho to offer a Garfield-Discovery Center of Idaho Event, which will be an opportunity for Garfield Elementary students and families to discover and explore STEM in their community.

The event is a unique approach to building STEM identity, and increasing increase STEM exploration within the community, while developing students’ and families’ access to STEM in a more formal setting. Also central to the efforts of the event is to build the interest and confidence of parents/guardians that STEM is for them and the whole family.

Another goal is to create a model for schools to enhance STEM learning and application through a facilitated visit to the Discovery Center, including outreach from the center before the event and an opportunity for families to return for free with their students after the event.

The event is partially funded by Simmonds’ NSF Career Award, Grant No. 1555270.