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Teachers offered free science workshops

Kaua‘i’s teachers are able to get in on the excitement demonstrated by students at the 5th Annual General Atomics Science and Technology show.

Enrollment is limited, but teachers are able to get in on a two-day science workshop starting Sept. 18 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. by calling 338-1588. The second workshop will take place Sept. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Kaua‘i War Memorial Convention Hall, states a press release from Mary Daubert of the county’s public information office.

Rick Lee, a scientist from General Atomics, and Alex Nagy, an engineer from the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, will head the workshops.

Lee and Nagy are the primary presenters at the show geared for Kaua‘i’s fourth- through sixth-grade students which opened yesterday coordinated locally by Team Tech, an initiative implemented by the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste. Local arrangements are being handled by Kaua‘i IN-STEP, a science and technology education partnership, which is part of Team Tech.

Gary Heu, in presenting commendations to General Atomics, Lee and Nagy, charged the students in attendance with having the potential to solve the complaints being raised by their parents about the rising electricity rates.

In addition to the high-energy demonstrations and lessons, students are able to take in related displays and exhibits set up by groups and organizations including the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative who have the sustainability trailer on hand to tie in with this year’s show theme.

“Totally Electric” is the theme of this year’s show that will play through Friday to an estimated audience of about 2,000 of Kaua‘i’s school students.

During the workshop made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences with support from General Atomics, Inc. and the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory, teachers will have the opportunity to make a science project relating to the show’s theme that they can take back to the classrooms for sharing with students.

The goal of the Team Tech program is to prepare Kaua‘i’s youngsters for viable careers in the local high-tech industry.

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