BHSU earns nearly $800,000 grant to expand computer science curriculum in state high schools

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Black Hills State University was awarded a $785,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support South Dakota high schools in implementing computer science courses.

Dr. Ben Sayler, director of the Sanford Science Education Center and professor of physical science and mathematics at BHSU, serves as the project’s principal investigator. He says the new project “Expanding Pathways into Computer Science across South Dakota” will build upon previous work also funded by the NSF with an expanded focus: reaching rural regions and under-served students throughout the state including those on or near American Indian reservations. The project begins Oct. 1.

 

Physical science and chemistry major completes nuclear physics research experience in Louisiana

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In the summer of 2016, Black Hills State University student Rachel Williams built a cosmic ray detector in Italy. This summer, Rachel, a physical science and chemistry major, resided stateside where she dove deeper into nuclear physics through a partnership with Louisiana State University.

Rachel completed her research experience in Louisiana with financial support from the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. In addition to completing 10-weeks of intense scientific research, Rachel and her peers attended weekly workshops by research professors in the LSU Physics and Astronomy Department, professional development seminars, and ethics training.

BHSU staff member leads local student ballooning team to help NASA learn about life on Mars

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Last year, NASA reached out to a group of local students to help them conduct an experiment that could help us understand where life could survive beyond Earth. On August 21, a group of local students joined with more than 50 other teams to release a balloon to the furthest reaches of the atmosphere – almost to outer space – to livestream the solar eclipse and carry bacteria for a NASA experiment.

Dr. Peggy Norris, Black Hills State University Deputy Director of Education and Outreach at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, led a team of area undergraduate and high school students to Scottsbluff, Neb. for their balloon launch. This was Norris’ 15th viewing of a total solar eclipse.

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