Press Release: Conference strives to attract students to STEM fields by teaching “amusement park physics”


Contact:  Stepheni L. Schlinker, Communications Manager, Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, at or 517-884-8011

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State University is hosting a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) conference for ninth grade Michigan Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (MI GEAR UP) students entitled “Amusement Park Physics” at the auditorium in Brody Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

What’s unique about this STEM conference is that it will be taught by STEM Genius students from Cass Tech High School in Detroit with the goal of encouraging fellow students to continue their studies in science, technology, engineering and math.  During the conference, approximately 190 MI GEAR UP program students from Albion, Detroit, Jackson and Lansing schools will use their imagination to design and build amusement park model rides.  The project will consist of learning about the history of amusement park rides, the physics and engineering behind them, designing and building models, and careers within the STEM industry.

The work STEM Genius, founded by Yul Allen, is doing is part of a growing initiative to get high school students more interested and involved in STEM. Using activity-, project- and problem-based learning to engage students in learning experiences is critical to generating their enthusiasm. Hands-on projects that require integration of STEM subjects helps students develop useful skills and take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to everyday life.

MI GEAR UP is a statewide collaborative effort providing early intervention services in two key areas:  (1) college exposure, financial aid admissions information, college choice and other important knowledge necessary for students to become prepared to pursue post-secondary options; and (2) skill-building and academic preparedness including reading, literacy, critical thinking skills, study techniques and test taking ability.

For more information about STEM Genius visit

Click here to view the original Press Release on the APUE website.