At STEMFest, classroom lessons transformed into fun and engaging activities for the entire family. Attendees walked through booths with sample projects showing the thoughtful integration of STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—as well as the ingenuity and persistence of students who engaged in the design process in the weeks leading up to the event.
Throughout STEMFest, students made discoveries and explored design thinking. Younger children used their imaginations to engineer structures using toothpicks and colored styrofoam. “I’m making a house for my cricket,” one child exclaimed. At an adjacent table, young scientists observed the transformation of liquids into solids. At other tables, students could explore bird calls made available through technology, plant seeds and sprouts, or make homemade hand warmers.
Older students investigated the VEX robots and made adjustments to the code to move a robot through a maze with precision. At another station, they built rockets and improved their construction techniques so that they could launch them higher and higher. Noting the speed at which mock space parachutes descended to the ground, children augmented designs to slow the speed and ensure safe landings.
A special highlight of STEMFest this year was the 7th grade STEAM projects. A homemade Rubik’s cube, a go-kart made out of PVC pipe, a potato launcher, and a robot that could draw impressed the many visitors to the 7th grade booth. Students also shared what they had learned about topics such as forensics and the fluidization of sand. As 7th graders presented their projects to onlookers, they explained their process and described how the different disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art, and math applied to their projects.
The hands-on learning experiences showcased at STEMFest were designed to inspire students to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them and open the door for a lifetime of exploration and innovation. We’re already looking forward to next year’s expo!