The BEACON High School Summer Residential Program introduces students to the study of evolution in action using computational science, biology, and engineering. Taught by BEACON and Engineering faculty and their graduate students using short lectures coupled with innovative and creative hands-on activities, high school students spend time at Kellogg Biological Station and on campus at Michigan State University, exploring topics and concepts of evolution, as specifically applied to computation and engineering. The BEACON summer residential program provides a unique learning opportunity, bridging disciplines and highlighting STEM research and careers. High school students entering eleventh, twelfth grades and incoming freshmen are eligible to apply and each candidate must have a minimum grade average of B in math- and science-related classes. Selected students participate in the BEACON High School Summer Program fully subsidized by the BEACON Science and Technology Center. including participation costs, and travel expenses for those who are from BEACON partner school locations. For more information: http://www.egr.msu.edu/future-engineer/programs/beacon-high-school
Teaching Evolution in Action: BEACON has developed a number of resources for teaching evolution at the K-12 level. One example uses the online software BoxCar2D, which is an interactive website where users can evolve cars using genetic algorithms. Below are resources that teachers may use for Darwin builds better cars: lessons evolving online vehicles.
- Lesson plan
- Powerpoint slides for BoxCar2D lesson
- BoxCar2D Design Worksheet
- BoxCar2D Natural Selection Worksheet
Examples of other K-12 activities that BEACON supports:
Co-sponsor of the 2011 Girls 2 Women Conference – “Creating Scientific Opportunities Through Choice“ at Michigan State University. This conference is free and hosts 100 girls entering grades 8th-12th. This event features speakers and presentations about making the transition from girls to women; topics include future planning, science & technology careers, leadership, conflict resolution, self-esteem and healthy relationships.