STEM Center Hosts STEAM Nights for Local Schools

Published: April 09, 2021 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

STEM Center Hosts STEAM Nights for Local SchoolsThe Southern Utah University STEM Center for Teaching and Learning recently completed a series of STEAM Nights for the nine local elementary schools to replace the annual STEAMfest that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The net result has been that more kids were able to experience STEM/STEAM through these events,” said STEM Center Director, Elaine Vickers. “On top of that, they were able to experience it with their families, which we're thrilled about. Increased access to STEM and STEAM in southern Utah is always our goal.”

Traditionally, SUU’s STEM Center has held an official STEAMfest once a year where local schools are welcomed onto campus to participate in fun science, technology, engineering, arts and math activities. Because of COVID-19, the STEM Center was forced to cancel this anticipated event and find other ways to support local schools.

“Teachers, school staff and parents have worked especially hard this year to keep schools open,” said Charlene Busch, STEM projects coordinator. “We thought it would be nice to provide an event for the schools that they didn't have to put together.”

STEM Center personnel worked with the school principals and Iron County School District’s Elementary STEM Coordinator Sara McAffee to follow COVID safety guidelines and develop STEAM Nights for all nine elementary schools in Iron County.

At each STEAM night, between 20 and 24 stations were set up with activities from the STEM resource library or participating SUU clubs and departments. A few of the participating clubs included the Astronomy Club, Animal Ambassadors, and the Geology Club. Stay-at-home activities were also made available for students and their families who wished to participate in the STEAM nights from a distance.

“STEAM nights are valuable to the community because they give parents and students opportunities to see how fun and engaging STEAM subjects can be,” said Busch. “It also gives us the opportunity to share information about our free K-12 online tutoring program, our Wonder Wednesday events, and our STEM resource library.”

The STEM Center for Teaching and Learning is dedicated to increasing local opportunities to access quality education through outreach events, like the STEAM Nights, in addition to professional development and other high-quality STEM programming.

Tags: Cedar City STEM

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