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Updated Wizards of Wright Program to be unveiled Aug. 6

Teachers across the map will now be able to benefit from the newly revamped Wizards of Wright Program (WOW!), part of the Educational Outreach Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The reinvigorated program launches Aug. 6 with new “flights” that will provide resources for classroom teachers who are enhancing their students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, said Daniel Andrews, K-12 Education STEM lead and STARBASE director.

The former program involved volunteer Wright-Patterson AFB scientists and engineers, equipped with portable science kits they and WOW! staff developed, to bring science excitement to classrooms within a 35-mile radius. Volunteers provided free, curriculum-based, hands-on science and math demonstrations.

That popular flight will continue as WOW! in the Classroom. Additional flights include:

• WOW! on Wheels – Teachers can check out equipment that can be used for weeks, rather than just a few hours.

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• WOW! TV – Instructional videos presented by Angel Callahan, Wizards of Wright program manager, and Melissa Vettleson, project design engineer. These WOW! demonstrations will outline the techniques and the materials needed for teachers to be able to perform the demos themselves.

• WOW! DIY (Do It Yourself) – Activity sheets as well as how-to videos will be available outlining quick and easy projects using common household materials so students and families can enjoy STEM activities at home.

“We reinvigorated and expanded the Wizards of Wright Program so we can share the good news of what Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is doing in STEM, and so we can get to more classrooms on the map,” Andrews said. “We want to incorporate the best ideas and provide more assistance to teachers.

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“We’re going from Garmin to Google Maps and analog to digital. We’re jumping into 2018,” Andrews added.

Interested “wizard” volunteers are being asked to contact the Educational Outreach Office. Many volunteers are needed, and they will be trained in the demonstrations they are interested in showcasing, Callahan said. All materials are provided.

“It’s an easy process for volunteers,” said Callahan. “They let us know what demo they’re interested in presenting, and then we get them ready to go out to the classroom.”

Subjects include UV rays, manufacturing, littleBits electronic building blocks, Cube-lets robot construction, GPS and satellites, rocketry and more.

Last year the program produced almost 500 demonstrations, impacting more than 16,000 students.

“We want to assist as many teachers as we can, we want to meet their needs, and we want to impact as many students as possible,” said Callahan.

Callahan and Vettleson said they wish to thank past and future volunteers as well as the supervisors who made such volunteer efforts of their employees possible.

The EO staff picked the Aug. 6 date for the program relaunch, including new logos and videos, so it would be prior to the kickoff of the 2018-19 school year. Through the four new flights, the WOW! program has been rebranded, refreshed and renewed.

“We are taking off,” said Vettleson. “There are students out there who need more STEM exposure, and we hope to provide it to them.”

For more information on the Wizards of Wright, EO programs and volunteer opportunities, go online to www.wpafbstem.com or contact Callahan at 937-938-4868 or Antoinette.Callahan.ctr@us.af.mil.

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