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Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation partners with SDSU

Posted: September 15th, 2017 | Featured, News | No Comments

By Jay Wilson

During the summer, board members of the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math & Music, and the arts) worked with key faculty members at SDSU as groundwork for developing a strong partnership between SDSU and the schools within the Patrick Henry Cluster.

Dr. Eric Frost shows Lewis Middle School students how SDSU’s Viz Lab tracks hurricanes. (Courtesy Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation)

“There is an established engineering program at Lewis and Pershing Middle Schools and at Patrick Henry. We want to connect the engineering, science and art departments in our schools with their corresponding department at SDSU; to develop a working partnership benefitting all students and faculties on all campuses,” said HC STEMM Foundation president Scott Bailey.

The initial contact at SDSU was with Dr. Eric Frost, a resident of Del Cerro. He is co-director of the graduate program in Homeland Security as well as the director of the Visualization Center and the Center for Information Technology and Infrastructure of the Viz Lab. His years with the geology program at SDSU links him to natural disasters globally as well as alternative energy resilience networks, sustainability, global imaging, fiber optics, and cloud computing. He is a very strong supporter of involving students and teachers in the Henry Cluster with SDSU faculty.

Members of the HC STEMM Foundation met with Dr. Eric Frost; Dr. Stanley Malloy, dean of the College of Sciences; Listy Gillingham, principal of Patrick Henry High; and Brad Callahan, principal of Lewis Middle School to discuss opportunities. A plan is in the works to have a workshop for science and engineering teachers from Henry, Lewis and Pershing to interact with science and engineering professors at SDSU later this fall.

To start the partnership, Dr. Frost invited Lewis physical science teacher Elizabeth Hunter-Drake and four eighth-grade young ladies interested in science and technology to tour the Viz Lab at SDSU.

Satellites are circling the earth collecting billions of bits of information. San Diego State University delivers that data to the people who need it most. When major disasters hit the world, millions of people rely on San Diego State for life-saving answers. It’s called the Viz Lab, short for Visualization Laboratory, and along with a bounty of big screens, people are constantly trying to solve the world’s toughest problems.

When Hurricane Irma was just a couple days away from Florida, Dr. Frost demonstrated the capabilities of the Viz Lab as referenced above. He brought up images on a very large screen showing everything from wind currents around the world to tracking Hurricane Irma with a variety of overlays.

Dr. Frost also demonstrated the Simtable used to track and predict wildland fires. Check out simtable.com for more information about this unique program. The visit by the teacher and students will most likely lead to a project for the science students at Lewis to benefit the Navajo Community.

The goal of the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation is to increase the level of engagement and academic achievement in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, music, and the arts among students of the Patrick Henry High School neighborhood schools by creating experiences that are relevant to their career development and personal interests.

If you would like to help, visit the foundation’s website at hcstemm.org for more information.

—Jay Wilson is a volunteer with the Henry Cluster STEMM Foundation. Reach him at jwilson2@cox.net.

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