A spaghetti and marshmallow tower challenge, an iPad tinkering station, lego building and heart rate monitoring – these activities and more entertained Greeley Elementary School families at STEM Night held on March 18 at the school. Well over 100 students attended this popular event.
STEM is the new hot acronym in educational circles and stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The program was initiated five years ago as Math and Science Night but was updated this year to also include the disciplines of engineering and technology.
“Our goals have consistently been to keep parents informed and excite and motivate kids to learn more,” explained Jen Parkinson, Greeley’s Science Facilitator. “Children are born scientists, engineers and naturalists, but they don’t necessarily realize that much of what they enjoy doing everyday involves science (or math).”
And all of the students at STEM Night seemed to enjoy the activities. Students could stretch their imaginations building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, or work on circuit puzzles using real batteries. While there were plenty of iPads to tinker on, some students still enjoyed building block towers or guessing how many pennies were in a jar. Each activity was designed to combine each of the four the disciplines.
Many parents worked alongside their children on the activities, while others volunteered to lead stations.
“I think it is a fabulous opportunity to learn about engineering and science in different ways,” said Beth Nesbitt, who attended with her daughter Holly.
“There is a ton of creativity. I think it is good to broaden everyone’s experiences in these areas,” Nesbitt added.