Louisiana Tech University’s Science and Technology Education Center (SciTEC) has
been awarded a grant by NASA’s Summer of Innovation program, which will allow Louisiana
students in grades four through nine to attend non-residential academic summer camps
on the Louisiana Tech campus, free of cost.
The camps expand access to exciting STEM education programming to all students in
the service area. NASA-focused content are incorporated into these camp curriculums,
providing new opportunities and experiences in science and technology education.
This ability to offer these camps at no cost provide the opportunity to reach students
who may not have the opportunity to participate in summer camp activities otherwise.
The Summer of Innovation program also seeks to expand both the breadth and depth
of school-and-community-based partners’ ability to provide meaningful educational
and exciting STEM experiences to students in the fourth through ninth grades that
traditionally have been underrepresented in the STEM fields.
Mainardi participates in the teaching of modeling concepts through the use of ball
and stick models for building buckyballs and carbon nanotubes. Mainardi also teaches
an activity on smart metals, such as nitinol; a Ni/Ti alloy that has shape memory.