STEMfest exposes students to principles of science, technology
Paul Knox Middle School’s former “Math and Science Night” has a new name STEMfest, with science, technology, engineering and math now incorporated into the name. This year’s event was held May 7 in the school’s gym.
“The point is for middle-schoolers to get a look at different math and science things that they have out in the world,” said eighth-grader Jordan Gambrell, 13. She noted that the event brings the possibility of extra credit for students who are willing to carry a bingo-style card and have it initialed as they go from one display to another.
Seventh-grade science teacher Mallory Bodine said this year’s event included “a great deal more professional engineers,” rather than relying so heavily on teachers as presenters.
The school’s Future City Club, recognized this year among the best in the state, also had a display, with students presenting ideas for future developers, architects and city planners to consider.
“We’re really trying to get the community and the kids involved rather than just the teachers, because they hear us every day,” Bodine said.
Most of the displays have a hands-on element, as was the case with the Savannah River Ecology Lab’s exhibit. Its reptiles “an alligator and a snake” were a hit with sixth-grader Abby Thornton, 12.
This year’s other offerings included a chance for kids to have their heart rate and blood pressure checked, to see how much sugar is in some of the most popular soft drinks and energy drinks and to explore such areas as optics, electricity, density and air pressure.