On Wednesday, March 27, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., the technology and science departments put on a community/family night at the middle school to teach kids about the different ranges of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
“We started last year, and we have been doing these STEM nights once per semester. We do them to engage the middle and elementary student to learn about engineering and use their creativity to influence them to go into stem fields. This also allows high schoolers to get into mentoring positions,” said Physics teacher Molly Bovos.
Every STEM night has a different theme, this year being Space. Since all of the high school run activities revolve around space, this gives them the opportunity to learn about their universe along with the kids they are mentoring.
“We’ve done a lot of other themes: electric cars and renewable energy. This was the next we decided. America is being revitalized because of space exploration and the normalization of commercial space flight. Not only that, but there’s a growing student workforce that could benefit from learning about those future careers. Exposing the kids at a young age will prepare them for the future of technology,” said Technology Integration Specialist Alex Hirbe.
There were also other organizations that brought interactive modules. In one lab, students were able to work on the Scratch coding program, while in another, students were able to build their own miniature roller coasters.
“We are really fortunate to have the sponsors we have. Science City comes in from Union Station to come and perform. The Cosmosphere comes in and brings in real items that are brought on space flights that they’ll be able to show people,” said Bovos.
By introducing a range of different interests, the kids who attend will be able to interact, participate and learn that their own pace and do only what they want.
“All of the events that we host allow students to learn through discovery; it is a better learning experience, which is why the high school is introducing the innovation academy. Hopefully, future high school students will be able to discover what they want to learn by going to events like this,” said Hirbe.