STEM and STEAM activities spark curiosity and learning in students

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Students and families participate in the Birch Creek STEM Night on March 27, 2019.

Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” This year, students in the Cache County School District experienced scientific exploration and discovery as their curiosity guided them through their school’s STEM activities.

STEM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is a national curriculum initiative which promotes the education of these economically vital subjects. Its purpose is to generate interest and recognize excellence in young scholars through fun, engaging activities. A similar acronym, STEAM, adds an “A” to include the arts.

In Cache County School District, teachers are encouraged to incorporate STEM into what they are already doing in their classrooms. Additionally, many schools do a STEM day during the school day where teachers have special STEM lessons and activities for their students. Coding instruction has been implemented for all first-grade students in the district, with more grades being added every year through the same initiative. There are also several coding clubs operating in various schools before and after school.

STEM and STEAM Nights are a favorite learning activity because students can bring their families to participate in the fun. Volunteers from the school, PTA, and community join together to offer a variety of engaging, hands-on activities. STEM Nights allow students an opportunity to connect with community partners involved in STEM careers and industries. Schools partner with businesses and university clubs to provide examples of the type of work they do. The visitors demonstrate how science, engineering, mathematics, and technology are used in careers to solve problems in the world.

Bonita Richins, CCSD Math and STEM curriculum specialist, has played a large role in promoting STEM education throughout the valley and is excited to see the progression in the programs.  “There are so many opportunities for students to explore and study STEM careers,” she explained. “The nation’s workforce is severely lacking in having qualified applicants for those fields. STEM education can be fun and rewarding, and it will teach valuable skills such as problem-solving, persevering through productive struggle, and creative thinking.”

Many thanks to all of the volunteers and community partners for their donations and support of our STEM/STEAM Nights! 

Community Partners:
Aggie Marine Robotics
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Autonomous Solutions, Inc.
Bio-West
Biology Graduate Student Association
Cache Makers
Cache Valley Astronomical Society
Cartwright Architects & Engineers
Concrete Canoe
Crumbl Cookies
Daniel Bertrand (Trebuchet)
Design-Build-Fly
Diane Theurer Art
Engineers Without Borders
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences Department
Juniper Systems
National Aquatic Monitoring Center
Northrop Grumman
Ophir Photonics
Space Dynamics Laboratory
Society of Women Engineers
Spiricon
SPS
Stokes Nature Center
Thermo Fisher Scientific
US Forest Service
USU Bug Club
Utah State University College of Engineering, Department of Physics
Water Quality Extension
Wilson Motor Company
WiTricity
Zootah

Pictures from Providence Elementary's STEAM Night on March 28, 2019

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Pictures from Birch Creek Elementary's STEM Night on March 27, 2019

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