CISL outreach to Wyoming's young scientists

By Brian Bevirt
03/13/2013 - 12:00am
Marc Mueller presentation
Marc Mueller of UCAR’s Spark! program presented hands-on science demonstrations to middle and high school students at the 2013 Wyoming State Science Fair in Laramie. CISL's exhibit also featured information about the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne.

Winners of NCAR-UW awards at 2013 WSSF
The winners of the 2013 NCAR-UW awards at the Wyoming State Science Fair are, from left, Sierra Nicole Spears, Ryan Sylvester, Jingyu Li, and Taylor Brown.

CISL partnered with the University of Wyoming (UW) to recognize outstanding young scientists at the Wyoming State Science Fair in Laramie on 4-5 March 2013. CISL provided judges for the science fair and staffed an information exhibit at the reception between the fair and the awards ceremony. Each year, CISL and UW present special awards in Geoscience and in Computer Science and Mathematics.

In Geoscience, Sierra Nicole Spears of Torrington Middle School won the junior award for her geology research project entitled “Vanishing Landmarks Along the Oregon Trail: How Long Will They Last?,” and Ryan Sylvester of Greybull High School won the senior award for “An Evaluation of Hydrophilic Gels as a Means of Providing Improved Soil Nutrient Levels.” CISL and UW awarded prizes in Computer Science and Mathematics to Taylor Brown of Greybull Middle School for “The Utilization of Fractal Geometries in River Modeling” and to Jingyu Li of Laramie High School for “Machine Learning in Gesture Recognition.” The CISL-UW awards were presented by Dr. Bryan Shader, Professor of Mathematics at UW and Special Assistant to the VP of Research.

CISL encourages the development of young people’s scientific curiosity and seeks opportunities to inform K-12 students about computational science and mathematics. We cultivate interest in the processes of discovery to inspire students to enter careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. We also teach that computational science is more than just computer programming, it is investigation and reasoning to answer questions and solve problems. These outreach efforts are part of CISL's partnership with the State, University, and business community of Wyoming.