SMILE-10-crop-webEOU photos by Kaitlin Cassidy / Elementary students learn about the principles of force and motion while launching parachutes from the stairwell in Badgley Hall.

College of Education hosts students for SMILE Workshop

News contact: Laura Hancock | University Advancement
541-962-3585 | lhancock@eou.edu
Source contact: Tawnya Lubbes | Assistant Professor of Education
541-962-3329 | tlubbes@eou.edu
SMILE-8-web

EOU education major Shawn Brooks, center, works with a group of middle schoolers building Lego helicopters.

May 8, 2014
LA GRANDE, Ore. (EOU) – Eastern Oregon University’s College of Education hosted dozens of elementary and middle school students for an engaging day of hands-on learning last month.

The students came to campus to participate in a Science and Math Investigative Learning Experience, or SMILE for short.

EOU partners with Oregon State University to present the workshop annually. This year 58 students from Nyssa and Ontario attended the event on April 26.

Engineering lessons were presented in the form of challenges for the different grade levels. Middle school students completed a Lego building challenge that included construction of helicopters and required them to consider cost and efficiency.

Elementary students participated in three challenges focusing on engineering, force and motion in the building of catapults, parachutes and airplanes.

The sessions were facilitated by 14 students in EOU’s education program with guidance from professors Tawnya Lubbes and Donna Rainboth from EOU and Jay Well from OSU.

Many of the students served through SMILE are Latino and Native American. The 14 EOU education majors are completing teaching licensure with an endorsement in English for Speakers of Other Languages, and the opportunity to mentor younger students from a diverse population is integral to their experience.

“Overall, the workshop was a success and we hope to continue this excellent partnership for many years to come,” said Lubbes, who has been involved with the project in 2012. “Not only is the experience beneficial to our EOU students, but also to our future students who are participating in this program.”

Attendees also heard from Xavier Romano, dean of Student Success and Engagement, and Donald Easton-Brooks, dean of the College of Business and Education. The day concluded with an ever-popular “magic” show presented by members of EOU’s Chemistry Club.