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Outreach News


State Representative Lovvorn supports COSAM’s BEST Robotics outreach program

State representative Joe Lovvorn stopped by the Sciences Center Classrooms Building on campus to present a check to Dean Nicholas Giordano and COSAM Director of Outreach Mary Lou Ewald for BEST Robotics. Answering the nation’s need for more and better-prepared workers in scientific, industrial and technological fields, BEST, which stands for “Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology,” is a middle school and high school robotics program, now in its 25th year nationally and 17th year in Alabama. BEST Robotics is the only robotics program in the nation that is offered to schools at no cost. The not-for-profit, all-volunteer program challenges students to design, build and market a robot to use in a six-week-long series of competitions, culminating in the South’s BEST championship, which is hosted by Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.


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Bleep, blop, beep, beeeeeep, bop: Gear up for Summer with robotics camp

The Southeastern Center of Robotics Education, or SCORE, is a new, innovative Auburn University outreach initiative sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics that is designed to more effectively develop and deliver robotics education to K-12 students and teachers. SCORE is hosting several robotics summer camps on the Auburn campus, as well as in Birmingham, in conjunction with the Southern Museum of Flight. Drone


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Auburn University’s Museum of Natural History and Red Clay Brewery partner to conserve Alabama wildlife

“Drink Beer! Save a Species!” is the new mantra of the College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Alabama Natural Heritage Program, which has teamed up with Red Clay Brewery in Opelika to conserve native Alabama wildlife. Beginning Thursday, Feb. 23, one dollar of each pint sold of a new brew, Drymarchon Berliner Weisse, will benefit conservation efforts of COSAM scientists who are working to reintroduce the Eastern Indigo snake to the Alabama landscape. The partnership will officially kickoff on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at a special “Science Pub” event featuring guest scientist Jason Bond, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. Bond will give a presentation titled, “Do Spiders Really Have Superpowers?” The Science Pub kickoff at Red Clay Brewery is sponsored by COSAM’s Office of Outreach. The event is family friendly and open to all ages. There is no cost to attend.


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The drive to strive: COSAM to host regional, state Science Olympiad

The College of Sciences and Mathematics’ Office of Outreach has long hosted regional Science Olympiad competitions for K-12 students. This year, for the first time, the COSAM Office of Outreach will host the middle and high school state competitions. Science Olympiad is a national, academic, competitive science tournament. Participating K-12 schools develop Science Olympiad student teams who are coached and mentored as they practice for regional competitions across the country. Elementary teams compete at the regional level only, and COSAM will host a regional elementary school contest this weekend on February 4. The state of Alabama middle and high school regional tournaments take place in various locations throughout the school year. Top-performing middle and high school teams at regional competitions will advance to the state tournament at Auburn University on April 1 and have a chance to be selected to compete at the national level.


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Faculty Spotlight: Tj Nguyen, assistant director of the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education

Tj Nguyen is the assistant director of the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education, or SCORE, an Auburn University outreach initiative designed to prepare future generations of STEM, or science, technology, engineering and math, professionals by developing and delivering student robotics programs, online robotics resources, and professional development for educators. Nguyen, of Birmingham, received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Auburn in 2013. He completed his master’s degree in secondary science education in 2016, and is projected to complete a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2017. He has worked with the College of Sciences and Mathematics Office of Outreach since 2009, previously as a student program coordinator.


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Fifty-eight teams from five states compete in robotics championship at Auburn University

The South’s BEST Robotics Championship took place at Auburn University Dec. 3-4 and featured the top 58 teams from 16 hubs located in five southeastern states. South’s BEST, or Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology, is headquartered at Auburn and sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. The first-place BEST Award is the top honor in the competition, and this year it went to W.P. Davidson High School, a Mobile-area school that is part of the Jubilee BEST Robotics hub. The BEST Award is given to the team that most embodies the concept and spirit of the competition. The winner of the BEST Award is judged on a combination of project engineering notebook, marketing presentation, team exhibit and interview, and team spirit and sportsmanship.


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Auburn University spearheads cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind outreach initiative that provides center for K-12 robotics education

The Southeastern Center of Robotics Education, or SCORE, is a new, innovative Auburn University outreach initiative designed to more effectively develop and deliver robotics education to K-12 students and teachers. The SCORE program centralizes the robotics education activities already underway in Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, College of Engineering and Auburn University Aviation Center, and provides a mechanism for growth in the area of robotics education outreach. The SCORE initiative is the only center of its kind in the country. By centralizing robotics programming, faculty and staff at Auburn are better able to serve K-12 teachers and students with a diverse and targeted approach. The programs offered through SCORE aim to provide education on the use of robots on the land, in the air, and in the water, thus reflecting Auburn University’s commitment to research, outreach and instruction as a land, sea and space grant institution.


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COSAM welcomes new faculty and staff

Quality faculty and staff allow the college to build upon the already-stellar reputation and strengths of a COSAM education. Our faculty and staff offer the intellectual capital upon which strong programs, innovative research, and student success are built. As we embark on a new academic year, the college would like to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of the COSAM family.


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High school students competing in COSAM Outreach program win international awards

Students who competed in the Greater East Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair, or GEARSEF, received honors at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science competition.


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BEST Robotics participant changes children’s lives, one hand at a time

In Vietnam, a group of approximately 30 children are missing fingers or parts of their hands or arms, conditions most have endured since birth. Prosthetic replacements are available, but are largely unattainable for this group because of the high cost – as much as $100,000 – and the fact that children outgrow their prostheses just as they do clothing. Enter Zach McCleery, a junior at St. Luke's Episcopal School in Mobile and longtime participant in the Auburn University BEST, or Boosting Engineering Science and Technology, robotics program sponsored by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. McCleery took inspiration from his BEST experience and executed an Eagle Scout project to coordinate the purchase, production and construction of affordable prosthetic hands that could be shipped overseas to the Vietnamese children.


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College of Sciences and Mathematics hosts South’s BEST Robotics championship

BEST Robotics is a national robotics program for middle and high school students that culminates in one of three regional championships, including South’s BEST, which is hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.


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Project Lead the Way hosted at Auburn University

The College of Sciences and Mathematics Office of Outreach, in collaboration with the Women in Science and Engineering Institute (WISE), recently hosted the annual Alabama Project Lead the Way (PLTW) State Conference at the Auburn University Student Center.


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Southeastern BEST Robotics championship to take place at Auburn University

The public will have an opportunity to witness the enthusiastic, sports-like environment surrounding BEST Robotics as the 2015 South’s BEST championship will take place on the Auburn University campus in Beard Eaves Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 5 and 6.


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Outreach Summer Programs reach hundreds of area students and teachers

Throughout the summer, the COSAM Office of Outreach offered 22 weeks of programming that impacted 237 K-12 students and 260 teachers


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War Eagle BEST Robotics season begins

War Eagle BEST Robotics, an annual program sponsored by COSAM and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, has kicked off the 2015 season.


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COSAM Hosts South’s BEST Robotics Competition

The College of Sciences and Mathematics, along with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction, hosted the South’s BEST, or Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology, robotics championship at Auburn University in December.


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War Eagle BEST Robotics winners announced, five teams advance to South’s BEST

Answering the nation’s need for more and better-prepared workers in scientific, industrial and technological fields, BEST Robotics (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) is a middle school and high school robotics program, now in its 21st year nationally and 13th year in Alabama, that is available to all schools at no cost. BEST is the third-largest educational robotics program in the nation and is the only one that is free to schools. The not-for-profit, all-volunteer program challenges students to design, build and market a robot to use in a six-week-long series of competitions, culminating in a regional championship.


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Prison Outreach Award for Prof. Goodwin

Dr. Douglas Goodwin and his collaborators Ms. Kyes Stevens and Dr. Alan Wilson have received a Competitive Outreach Scholarship Grant Award for their proposal entitled “Bridging a Curriculum Gap in Prisoner Education: A Collaboration of Colleges Innovating Solutions”.


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Annual festival held for students and teachers

On April 26, the Department of Outreach hosted AU Explore. AU Explore is an annual science and math festival offered to fifth- through eighth-grade students and their teachers.


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COSAM awards the 2012 Dean’s Outstanding Outreach Award

COSAM named two recipients of the 2012 Dean’s Outstanding Outreach Award, David King, professor of geology, and Ash Abebe, associate professor of mathematics and statistics. The annual Outstanding Outreach Award is given to COSAM faculty members with recent records of service and outreach performance that extend beyond normal expectations.


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Last Updated: 08/12/2016