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  • Professor Aaron Massari and Lecture Demonstration Director Joe Franek show how different forms of energy can be used to create molten iron in the show's finale.

    Energy and U teams up with University of Texas, Rio Grande

Researchers at the University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and the University of Minnesota will be teaming up to produce a version of the Energy and U show at UTRGV.  Energy and U is a highly successful outreach activity that originated at University of Minnesota in 2007 as a collaboration between the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science departments with the goal of getting elementary school kids excited about science and engineering. Over the past decade, it has bloomed into a biannual show series that serves more than 10,000 kids per year, more than 50 percent of whom are from underrepresented groups.

This latest expansion will be overseen by Professor Karen Lozano and Professor Arturo Fuentes at UTRGV, working closely with Professor Aaron Massari and Lecture Demonstration Director Joe Franek from UMN to reproduce Energy and U in both Spanish and English for audiences in Texas. The work is supported by a four-year, $1.5 million award from the National Science Foundation, and seeks to assess learning fidelity and retention for shows in both languages for native and non-native English speakers. A later phase in the project will return the Spanish version of Energy and U back to the Twin Cities for public shows and outreach to Spanish immersion schools in the area.