Math & Science Center announces 3 new ‘exciting’ partnerships |

Math & Science Center announces 3 new ‘exciting’ partnerships

Teresa Coons
Cultural Confidential Contributor
Kirk Rider, youth education chairperson for Grand Valley Anglers, and Carol Oglesby, also from Grand Valley Anglers, check the equipment supplied by Trout Unlimited, along with manuals for operation and teaching aids for the instructors.
Submitted photos |

This holiday season, the John McConnell Math & Science Center is especially thankful for the support of its community partners — local businesses and organizations that, for many years, have made it possible for us to offer a wide range of creative, hands-on exhibits and programs.

Direct financial contributions, in-kind support, and shared expertise broaden and enrich the education and entertainment that we can provide to the community. In addition to thanking our long-standing community partners this month, we would like to announce three exciting new partnerships:

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) Project — This project (and new exhibit) is a partnership with Grand Valley Anglers, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited and Federation of Fly Fishers. The chapter’s mission is to preserve, protect and enjoy local fish habitat.

The TIC project is an environmental education program in which students raise native trout from eggs to fry, and then release the fry into local rivers or streams. There are currently more than 4,000 “Trout in the Classroom” projects taking place throughout the U.S. In our case, fifth-grade students at New Emerson Elementary School will be responsible for monitoring tank water quality, observing the trout life cycle, and learning about stream ecosystems and water resources as part of their weekly science program at the Math & Science Center. The “trout incubator” tank is also available for viewing by the public. Stop by the Math & Science Center frequently over the holidays to watch our native trout grow and develop.

3-D Printing: A Technology that is Changing the World — Recent articles in Forbes magazine, The Economist, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the MIT Technology Review have all touted the wonders of three-dimensional printing as a technology that is rapidly changing the worlds of manufacturing, medicine, and even toy-making. It seems that everyone is getting into the game, from students to engineers, hobbyists to manufacturing professionals — and now the Math & Science Center!

With financial support from CapCo Inc., a local company that designs and manufactures military hardware, the Math & Science Center is now the proud owner of a MakerBot Replicator 2X 3-D printer. With an almost mesmerizing action, the nozzle on the printer lays down micron-thick layers of plastic to create a computer-generated design.

The center will be demonstrating this technology as one of our regular exhibits and will use the 3-D printer for camps and other special programs.

“Ask A Scientist” Project with KAFM Community Radio (88.1 FM) — Since Nov. 12, KAFM Community Radio has been airing “Ask A Scientist” questions created and recorded by New Emerson Elementary School students, along with answers presented by the Math & Science Center’s Education Director Eric Rinaldo.

This collaboration, sponsored by Home Loan Insurance, has so far been great fun for both students and adult partners. If you haven’t yet heard these young radio stars, tune in every Tuesday and Thursday at about 2 and 7 p.m. You’ll enjoy hearing the questions posed by the youthful scientists — and you might even learn something new. Links to podcasts of the questions and answers will eventually be available on the KAFM Radio and Math & Science Center websites.

Coons is executive director of the Math & Science Center, located at 2660 Unaweep Ave. Contact her at or 970-254-1626.

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