STEM Night Encourages Hands-On Learning

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The district held its second annual STEM Night on Feb. 11 at the senior high school, featuring dozens of hands-on activities, experiments, games, mini-labs and more. Approximately 400 students in grades K-8 and their families attended the event that sparked their interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Under the direction of senior high school science teacher Aimee Mendoza, the high school’s Math and Science Honor Society, National Technology Honor Society and Science Club coordinated and presented the activities.

“Our students are running the evening, and that’s the best part for me as a teacher,” Ms. Mendoza said. “Interacting with the younger kids gives these students a chance to shine for a night. It’s a nice way to showcase their abilities and interact with the community.”

This year’s activities were expanded to three hours, which gave students and their families more time to engage in the various activities available.
The evening kicked off with a “Fire and Ice” assembly by Mad Science, before visitors had the opportunity to tour the school at their leisure. The cafeteria featured arts and crafts and a petting zoo, while the gym housed a technology showcase that included demonstrations by the Robotics Club. On the third floor of the school, students toured 28 different rooms, with activities ranging from cotton candy polymers to slime time to butterfly symmetry.

“We had an amazing turnout,” Ms. Mendoza said. “Families seemed to enjoy the Mad Science ‘Fire and Ice’ kickoff show, and all of the activity rooms were busy and full after that! My two pigs, Molly and Moose, were a big hit, as was the exhibit of the reptiles and their marine buddies.”
The goal of the evening, according to Ms. Mendoza, was to get the younger students interested in the STEM fields. “We want to encourage a lifelong love of STEM and get these students college and career ready,” she said. “We can’t get them college and career ready if we don’t get them interested in the fields.”