STEM day affects students’ career path

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STEM day affects students’ career path

Students are engaging in the biology station. They have just  examined a urine test sample.

Students are engaging in the biology station. They have just examined a urine test sample.

Students are engaging in the biology station. They have just examined a urine test sample.

Students are engaging in the biology station. They have just examined a urine test sample.

Ava Weibley, Reporter

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Stem day took place Sept. 25 for 9th grade students to teach them about subjects and how those subjects connect to real world jobs. Many volunteers came to host the 8 stations offered to students to help engage them with STEM subjects. Lisa Black, high school career coordinator, was an organizer of the program. She said,“A spouse of on of our teachers works at Carlisle; they did it and invited us to see it and we saw it and loved the idea.”

The stations consisted of chemistry, biology, plumbing, mathematics, computer coding, robotics, automotive and a relay race. The chemistry station taught students how 2 liquids react when combined. Students mixed two ingredients  to create a foam hand inside of a latex glove. Students also experienced how slime reacts once mixed with salt water. They learned how a once liquid substance turns hard when poured into the water turns into a solid in seconds. Lastly, the volunteers mixed various ingredients (hydrogen peroxide, dawn dish soap and a scientific ingredient to create a large foam, steamy reaction called elephant toothpaste. One ninth grade student said, This was one of my favorite stations, and it was cool. I learned how things can explode once heated up once mixed with other ingredients.”

Secondly, the biology station was full of information about how illnesses can spread with a touch of the same object. A sample of fake urine was infected with one of the three illnesses: mono, diabetes or strep throat. After testing the urine with a glucose/protein test strip, students discovered that the urine was tainted with protein meaning; the urine protein levels changed but the glucose levels didn’t. Students tested how after mixing 4 water samples, one being contaminated with strep throat, all liquids became contaminated. 

The plumbing station taught the students how to properly take apart and put back together a sink head. They used various tools such as screwdrivers to tear apart the sink. Students learned how to do it themselves so they wouldn’t have to pay a plumber to do such an easy task.

 The mathematics station highlights math skills that they might be using this year. Inside the station there was 5 tables which different math related activities on each. One consisted of a bunch of cards with math terms and a matching picture of the term. Students had to math the term with the picture in 3 minutes. Then they rotated around and did the other stations where you had to find 3 cards out of a deck that the 2 cards subtracted to equal the last card, make coffee stirrers in the shape of a picture shown and remove a certain amount to create a different shape, flipped and moved blocks to replicate the picture and lastly the memory match with different jobs relating to mathematics.  

The fifth station was the relay race. Students did 8 different tasks to try and defeat the other groups. Firstly they matched the colored blocks to replicate the card, 5 times. Then, they used a slingshot to fling a ball while the other person tried to catch it in a bucket. After that they sorted through a bag to see what items were and were not recyclable. Then they dressed one of the group members in a hazmat suit in order, following the directions. After that they had to throw 5 paper airplanes into a hula hoop, and if they missed, they had to remake the plane and go again. The next task was to roll 2 die and add them, then roll again and add them but multiply it by the first rolls and get up to 100. Although, if someone rolls a 1, they have to restart. Once completed, they go on to correctly solving 5 algebra equations. Then, students connected 3 pool noodles and put them together for a ball to roll through, they had to do this the whole way across the gym. If the ball fell out they had to restart. This station taught students how to work together as a team which could be used in real world jobs. 

Students then went to the computer coding station and learnt how to follow directions to correctly create a game. They used a website to make a game where a cat has to catch food to gain energy. A big aspect of this activity was following directions and students learned that if they did not their game wouldn’t turn out right. 

One of the last station students competed in was the robotics. This station was set up with 4 robotic cars and 2 controllers per car. The point of the game was to work with a partner to make your robot pick up cones of your teams color and stack it on another larger cone. A student that enjoyed the station said, “It’s a great way to figure out how to work together and use new items.” In all, most people had a fun time controlling the robots.

The last station at STEM day was the automotive station. When walking into the room, a bin with various items to activate a light bulb were present. A folder filled with directions on how to correctly activate the light was along with that. After this small activity students then moved on to working with a group to figure out how to connect wires to trigger a horn, back light, and other important car parts.

STEM day was a day for students to look into career paths and consider focusing on one. Black said, “I am passionate about having students do hands on things and learn about careers. It helps to show all the fun things you can do with stem subjects, areas not everyone thinks about a career in. I hope it gets students inspired about using those subject.”  

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