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'Stanford Spokes' makes stop in Farmington

Members of Lab: Revolution, a 4-H program in Farmington, gather to hear from six members of the Stanford Spokes cross country bicycle tour team that stopped in Farmington last month to provide an update on new technological programs and skills being taught on the Stanford campus in California.

Six members of the Stanford Spokes cross country bicycle tour team stopped in Farmington in August to update Lab: Revolution students on some of the new technological programs and skills they’re learning on campus in California.

Spokesperson Cole Urban said the team is highly energized in developing the interests of younger students they’re meeting on their cross country tour.

“For the past two-and-a-half months we’ve been peddling across the country from California, meeting with younger students like those in Lab: Revolution in Farmington,” he said. “We’ve seen all types of interest in new technology and programs from space exploration and mathematics to healthcare from the younger students.”

The six member team, which started from the Stanford campus in California, began their cross country college tutorials with younger students in Nevada. So far they have been involved in about a dozen sessions with students on their way to Washington, D.C.

The Spokes program is intended to link college students from established institutions like Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to younger students to encourage them to explore technological and educational opportunities through group interfacing and hands on training. The college outreach program also gives younger students an idea of the recent program developments and interests on college campuses.

For Urban, who majors in metaphysics, it’s an exciting opportunity to reach out to today’s youth.

“Our session in Farmington with 7th and 8th graders and younger is very much about getting to know the students and discover what level of learning interests them and what makes them excited,” he said. “We want to share their excitement so we can build on that excitement together.”

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Urban admitted that his area of expertise, metaphysics, may be new to the Farmington area students, but that’s the whole point of their trip.

“Whether its metaphysics, stem cell research or mathematics, the Stanford team wants the students to widen their own interest and explore the many types of science and technology available to them,” he said.

According to Urban, the emphasis is to encourage the younger students to explore and discover how to get access to that information, equipment and knowledge wherever they live.

“It’s equally important that teachers and educators help students find the information and resources that keep them involved and interested,” he said.

For 9-year-old Samuel Sorbello of Farmington, the Spokes session was exciting, “I’m so excited that Stanford was here. It was really awesome. They really connected with the kids and didn’t mind all my questions and comments.”

Lab: Revolution is sponsored by the 4-H program Farmington.  

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Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com

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