Wednesday, July 9, 2014

COSMOS celebrates 10th anniversary

It's a good way to celebrate your 10th anniversary: for the first time this year, there are more girls than boys at COSMOS, a four-week residential STEM outreach program here at UC San Diego. This summer, girls made up 52 percent of students in the program for the first time in history.

Students have the choice between nine different tracks, or clusters, to study, including making their own biodiesel from renewable resources; tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; and new this year, music and technology, where they're learning to manipulate sound electronically and make their own instruments.

We dropped by the biofuels cluster Tuesday, July 8, with a local TV crew. Students were learning all about washing their biofuel to discard impurities. A few pictures of the fun below. That cluster is led by chemistry teaching professor Skip Pomeroy, with the help of Renee Williams, a UC Presidential postdoctoral fellow.

Each cluster also works with high school teachers, who get to bring the curriculum back to their campuses. Julie Baker-Conte, a high school biology teacher at San Pasqual High in Escondido, is working with Pomeroy this year.

"The students get some really good hands-on lab experience with equipment that's not available at the high school level," she said.

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