North Texas Daily

Mayor recognizes sciences boxes created by TAMS students

Mayor recognizes sciences boxes created by TAMS students

Mayor recognizes sciences boxes created by TAMS students
February 17
15:41 2014

Olivia Sylvain // Intern Writer

TAMS students Annabel Wang and Jason Liu teamed up with their peers to design and build science experiment boxes for local elementary school children. Denton mayor Mark Burroughs and city council will recognize Wang, Liu and their team for their efforts on Feb 18 at the city council meeting.

The idea for the experiment kits was presented a year ago when Wang and Liu took leadership positions in the Junior Engineering and Technology Society within TAMS. Their inspiration stemmed from Wang’s love for community service and Liu’s childhood experience with similar kits.

“When I was in first grade I could check these similar boxes out at the library,” Liu said. “Those [kits] really interested me and brought me into science.”

Children can check out the boxes at North Branch, South Branch and Emily Fowler Central libraries in Denton. Each of the 78 boxes contains materials needed for different science projects and activities. They cover topics such as anatomy, astronomy, geology and chemistry. The subjects in the boxes are based off the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills requirements for third through fifth grade, Wang said.

The group will do science experiments and demonstrations at each library this month in order to introduce the boxes and get young students interested in what the experiment kits can offer them.

The last demonstrations will be held on Feb. 18 at South Branch Library and Feb. 28 at Emily Fowler Central Library.

“Science and technology is definitely important but people don’t feel like it’s their topic,” Wang said. “It’s intimidating, it’s challenging but I really hope they see past the challenges.”

The boxes are handmade and include all materials needed for the experiments, except things such as water or other accessible items. About 70 TAMS students and members of JETS participated in designing and building the boxes.

“We opened it up for anyone in JETS to help us, but having 70 people all work on one thing is hard to coordinate,” Wang said. “Everyone helped a bit but we had about nine people who really worked on it intensively with us.”

Sociology senior Precious Femi-Ogunyemi worked as an advisor to Wang, Liu and other TAMS students over the course of the project. She was hands-off, letting the group make decisions independently, but stepped in when they needed her help.

“I feel like the work that Annabel, Jason and JETS did is incredible,” Femi-Ogunyemi said. “At first, I was a little nervous at the magnitude of project. However, Annabel and Jason proved that with a lot of elbow grease and determination, they can help bring STEM-based projects to children in this area.”

Wang and Liu are preparing to move forward with their education and hope to leave a positive legacy for their peers in the TAMS program. JETS has finished each box and distributed them to the libraries and no additional boxes are being made at this time.

“We’re pretty much ending our reign as execs for the term so as we move on it’s kind of up to the next group of people,” Liu said. “They can decide to pursue this or they can decide to do something completely different. But the good thing about this is that it is expandable.”

Wang and Liu invited their JETS team members to be recognized by Mayor Burroughs alongside them on Tuesday.

“I want the people worked on this project to realize that anything they dream, they can do,” Wang said. “We started out with nothing and we made this happen.”

Feature photo: TAMS students Annabel Wang, left, and Jason Liu display science kits they made for grade school students to use at the South Branch Denton Public Library on Teasley Lane. Each box contains its own experiment and is available to checkout at the North and South Branch Library. Photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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