By Julia Cummings
Robert "Bud" Talbot of the School of Education and Human Development, Randy Tagg of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Ron Rorrer of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, all faculty members at the University of Colorado Denver, are engaged in an electrifying collaboration with Aurora Public Schools (APS).
The new Innovation Hyperlab at APS' Vista PEAK Campus is a place where robotic horses dance, radio waves peak and plunge, motors are fine-tuned, sensors sound, magnets collide, fluids boil and freeze, biological experiments come alive and global energy is analyzed. Students are busy cooperatively learning in small groups, connecting their classroom lessons to real problems, acquiring advanced skills needed in the work force and making unique innovations for the 21st century.
The goals of the new lab are:
- Improve middle and high school students' desire and ability to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and the health sciences by introducing cutting-edge physics and engineering research projects
- Study the learning outcomes of students and teachers
- Engage local businesses to inspire students to work on problems important to the region's economy.
"It's all about real-world preparation," Tagg said. "When we challenge students with authentic problems and provide professional-grade tools to solve them, these students will surprise us with creative solutions."