STEM Engaged Learning

Biology: Interpretation of Science at
Cal Poly Pomona

Faculty members from Cal Poly Pomona created four lectures on energy and energy efficiency and incorporated them into the biology course, Interpretation of Science. This course prepares Cal Poly Pomona students to work with K-12 students who visit the Rain Bird BioTrek program to create awareness about energy conservation. Through the service-learning course, Cal Poly students create high-impact, interactive and information rich learning experiences for K-12 students and develop portable exhibits that share compelling stories detailing how every individual can help the environment while saving money through energy management and usage patterns. The faculty also created a one-of-a-kind teaching tool, the "high-striker carnival game" that engages students through a positive experience that tests human energy production. It is a sophisticated electronic device, built on a circuit board, with the capability of plugging into a computer with a USB port. The game can increase or decrease loads that can be put on the human powered generator to make it harder for older students and easier for younger students to be successful in the game.

The course is offered each of four quarters at Cal Poly Pomona, and enrolls 16 students per quarter. Hundreds of K-12 students visit the BioTrek science learning center each year and Cal Poly students act as knowledgeable docents, as a result of taking this course.

You can read more about the Rain Bird BioTrek program on their website.