STEM summit returns to Big Spring



Hannah Hess and Gabi Reifsnyder, Reporter

Big Spring High School hosted the STEM summit on Sept. 22, where they immersed 9th grade students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in a fun and unique way. Career Coordinator, Lisa Black, said that the goal of this STEM Summit is “to inspire students to think about careers and to take classes in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.”

One freshman, Dalton Eberts said that he did enjoy the STEM Summit, and said that he would consider taking some of the engineering courses at the high school after this experience.

Another freshman, Alexis Mearkle, offered a different viewpoint of the STEM Summit, stating that it was fun and interesting, but she doesn’t think she would take any STEM courses afterwards.

The STEM Summit is an event that is sponsored by Junior Achievement of South Central PA. This event has been going on for several years, but Big Spring High School has only participated in it for the past two years. There were 30 different business volunteers that came out from different corporations in the area to help with the STEM Summit as well as 10 student volunteers from the Technology Student Association at Big Spring High School.

This event is only offered to the freshmen class each year. There are multiple events that the freshmen participated in including three experiments, two career panels, and three competitions. The freshman explored these events through chemistry, biology, physics, math, electrical engineering, and civil engineering.

Madyson Wert said, “It was a very fun activity and an interesting way to show us the different jobs that are in the STEM fields.”

Black said, “[The freshmen] are the best group to target at this point because then they have the rest of their high school years to take Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses.”

Black also said that this event has been very successful in the past, stating “Last year, we did a follow up survey and almost all of the students in the freshman class said that they really enjoyed the day.” According to Black, some students even came to her asking if they could do it again.

Many of the students in this year’s freshman class confirmed this. Liam Ocker said that after the STEM Summit, he would definitely consider taking some of the STEM courses offered at Big Spring High School. Ocker stated, “I felt really engaged with it. It wasn’t like we were just listening to everything. We could actually experience what was going on.”

Overall, the students thought the STEM Summit was a unique way to explore a variety of career fields. The STEM Summit seemed to be a huge success and hopefully it encouraged students to think about the different career options available.