In conjunction with the Discover Tech engineering exhibit at the Valley Public Library, the Juneau STEM Coalition and JSD teachers hosted a STEM Night for K-5 Families. The March 28th event was hugely successful: nearly 50 dedicated community members offered hands-on STEM experiences for about 400 kids and families. Families explored a wide range of activities from designing (popsicle stick) catapults or paper towers to investigating acids and bases to analyzing compost under a microscope to figuring out math puzzles. Special thanks to the engineers who engaged kids in engineering challenges: Andrew Wells, from AK DOT&PF, and Janice Simmons, from PDC Engineering. The main complaint was that there was not enough time for kids to explore as many activities as they wanted to. We can’t “fix” that, but maybe the presenters would be willing to stretch a little longer….
STEM education specialists followed up on Thursday and Friday with discussions and demo lessons for district principals and teachers. Next steps include helping teachers to understand and introduce engineering “habits of mind.” If anyone is interested in helping to organize STEM Night 2019, present an activity then, or get involved in other ways to bring more STEM experiences to more Juneau children, both in and outside of school, please check out the Juneau STEM Coalition website and/or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you attend the event? Take a few minutes to fill out our survey!
Finally, a huge thank you to the sponsors whose funding made snacks, “STEM goodie bags,” and the specialists’ visits possible: AELP, FOSS Scientific, and JEDC, and to Ken Wesson. Interested in learning more about the research Ken Wesson conducts? Here are some articles to get you started!