STEM night hopes to educate young students

At last years STEM night, AJ Stewart, class of 12, and Heather Kirwan, class of 12, help middle school students perform scientific experiments. This year, STEM night will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9.


At last year’s STEM night, AJ Stewart, class of ’12, and Heather Kirwan, class of ’12, help middle school students perform scientific experiments. This year, STEM night will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

The Northeastern Maryland Technology Council’s STEM Pipeline Committee will host its STEM night at JC on Oct. 9. The STEM night is expected to have more attendees than previous STEM nights with over 200 young students in attendance. The first STEM night of the school year will be open to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders who are home schooled or attend private school.

“They’re trying to get more interest among students, in science and math among schools,” math and science teacher Courtney Hugo said of the STEM Pipeline Committee. This is the first time the STEM Pipeline has collaborated on a STEM night with the school.

It takes three steps for the students that are interested to get involved, according to Science Department Chair Julie Baker. First, kids that are interested should register online. “They go there and they can look at all of the different possible presentations. They make three choices,” Baker said.

According to Baker, each session is about 20 minutes and takes up to 15 students who then rotate to other sessions they have registered for. There will be an array of presenters for each session that range from current math and science students to actual scientists that the STEM Pipeline will be bringing in..

“[The sessions are] presented by either students, we have some of our students giving presentations, or it may be a business person or a person from a government agency,” Baker said.

The STEM Pipeline Committee has provided all of the speakers who will be attending “They have some kind of science experiment that they’re going to get the kids to participate in,” Baker said.

According to Baker, students hand-picked by herself and Hugo will present four sessions to attendees.

“We have about 25 [activities],” Hugo said of her students being involved in the event. “Some of them will learn how to make bottle rockets with alka seltzer,” Hugo said.

Junior Emily Waite is one of the students who volunteered to participate in the night. “I volunteered to help out Mrs. Hugo,” Waite said. “I’m presenting stuff about the Chesapeake bay to fourth graders,” Waite said. She will not only be teaching the kids through speech but through interactive activities. “We hand them a rope and show them how every part is important,” said Waite of her activity.

“The overall goal is to get these younger or elementary school kids interested in science and engineering,” Baker said.

According to Physics teacher Jorge Piquer, the event will have a good turnout. “We’ll be taking up most of the first and second floors of the school,” Piquer said, “hopefully we’ll have about 250 kids here.” According to Piquer it is important to register beforehand because the kids sign up for three sessions and “if they just show up they won’t be able to pick.”

The STEM night enhances young students’ knowledge about math and science. According to Piquer, a lot of these schools are feeder schools which means that the event raises more awareness of the new STEM program and brings in more freshman.

While the young students participate in various activities, Principal Madelyn Ball will be with their parents. “I am only involved [in the STEM night] in that I come to talk with parents,” Ball said. “I’ll be able to have chats with parents about all the good stuff that happens.”

The Oct. 9 STEM night will be the biggest STEM night held so far. “I just want everybody to get excited about John Carroll,” Ball said. “For many of them this will be their first time here and I would like for them to see this as the best place to go to school.”

Chioma Iheoma is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and