Black Family Technology Awareness Day February 4
On Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, Rensselaer will host the 14th Black Family Technology Awareness Day program (BFTAD). This annual event, which is part of a nationally celebrated week of the same name, is designed to spur young people’s interest in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, (STEM) and the arts. The theme for the program, “Tetherless Training for Tomorrow’s Technologies: Heroes, Role Models, and Mentors,” was selected to pay homage to past, present, and future leaders in STEM-related fields of African-American descent.
The opening ceremony will be held in the Darrin Communications Center, room 308, beginning at 8:45 a.m. President Shirley Ann Jackson will deliver the opening remarks. Timothy Sams, vice president for student life, will deliver the keynote address.
The daylong event will feature more than 70 workshop sessions and hands-on activities led by Rensselaer professors, students, staff, alumni/alumnae, and local community organizations. This year, sample workshops include: seeing how electricity and plasma are used to cut metal, making ice cream using liquid nitrogen, using LEGO building kits to build models of simple machines, an introduction to the technology of light emitting diodes (LEDs), learning how to harvest power from the wind, using homemade ingredients to explore science and physics, creating a virtual turntable, and learning how to use basic forensic science techniques, and an introduction to nanotechnology, among others.
Special new highlights to this year’s event include a lunch-time exercise break that will feature the “Electric Slide” dance, led by President Jackson and members of the administration, who will be joined by event participants. The program will culminate with a panel discussion, followed by a special raffle that will include some science-themed prizes.
The event is designed to provide students and their parents with an opportunity to interact with a diverse group of local scientists, researchers, engineers,
teachers, industry experts, and Rensselaer students.
In addition, this year’s event is being held in conjunction with the regional Science & Technology Entry Program Science Fair. Several area students will have their science projects on display in the Alumni Sports & Recreation Center from noon to 1:15 p.m.
The event is free and open to the public. Members of the campus and local community are encouraged to attend.
For more information and program details, go to www.rpi.edu/dept/diversity/bftad/index.html.