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Researchers Partner with Young Inventors and Scientists at Local School

Feb. 7, 2014

Fourth grade students at St. Matthias Parish School in Milwaukee will learn how to turn their creative ideas into patentable inventions, with the help of experts from Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) scientists and technology specialists.

Every year, Mrs. Rachele Wehr’s students imagine, create and build their own inventions as part of their science curriculum. A recently established partnership with MCW’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center (BBC) brings an added dimension of reality to this project, in which members of MCW’s office of technology development evaluate and advise the students on their potential inventions.

The partnership began after Tim Sobotka, a former St. Matthias student and teacher, joined the BBC as its education and outreach manager.

“These kids are sharp and creative, and if we can foster that sense of inquisitiveness, and that love of science now, we can get them hooked on science. Our overall goal is to spark students’ interest and increase awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics career opportunities,” said Sobotka.

The fourth graders’ projects will be on display at St. Matthias Parish School, 9300 W. Beloit Road, this Friday, February 7, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.., Media are invited to attend.

The BBC’s outreach program is part of its mission to mentor and train students at the K-12 level. In another recent project, middle school students at St. Matthias created science fair projects with guidance from their outreach scientific mentors who worked with them from the conceptual stage of the project through the completion and judging of their projects. Students visited and toured the BBC to meet their mentors, tour the labs, and participate in various hands-on activities, which allowed students to see the state-of-the-art technology and appreciate first-hand how the scientific process is put into practice on a daily basis.

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