The first annual STEM exposition took place at the high school in the Commons on Thursday, May 31 2018. Participants displayed their various projects during a fun, science-filled night.
The event was made possible thanks to the work of Mr. Ryan Parker and Ms. Traci Rickert from the science department, both of whom created a website page to promote the event. Also, announcements on the school news and information were shared with students in various science classes.
In the end, about eight different projects were displayed throughout the night, ranging from a moving model on the human excretory system to various models of rocket ships to bacteria cultivated on Petri dishes.
There were two types of projects that students could choose to enter. The first category included projects that had already been completed for a school assignment, but this project had to be worked on or enhanced in some way to qualify for the event.
Freshman Jacob Chin says, “My group entered a project that we had done earlier this year for a biology assignment, and I was surprised at how much we added when we revisited the project for the expo. This event made us question not only what we had already researched about our project, but also how we could make it better.”
The second category included projects that had been researched and completed independently.
Most of the projects were completed by a group of students, though both groups and individuals were allowed to enter. The projects themselves could range from experiments, conducted research, or displays of new technologies.
The participants were primarily freshman, most of whom were students in Mr. Parker’s honors biology classes. Those students had the opportunity to take the score on their projects as an additional test grade for their marking period average.
Before the event began, Mr. Parker and Ms. Rickert announced to the participants that they intended to make participation in the event mandatory for their students next year.
The current participants then set up their projects on the provided tables half an hour before the event officially began.
The crowd of people began as a low stream of parents and Board of Education members who were at the school for the BOE meeting, which took place on the same evening. As the night went on, more and more viewers arrived to observe the projects.
At the end of the night, Mr. Parker and Ms. Rickert announced that they would not be choosing one winner, since it was the first time the event took place. Instead, every participant received a certificate of achievement and a participation ribbon.
That being said, they do intend to make the event next year more competitive with definite first, second, and third place winners.
Ms. Danielle Drust, an AP Biology teacher who had also been present at the event, stated that each of the participants would also receive a letter in the coming weeks that would outline their achievements regarding their specific project. This letter can be of use to students as they continue to progress in the science field. It can also be included in college applications or in any other similar application to show scientific achievement.
Freshman Theodore Bloom says, “I was glad that the teachers will be giving us those letters of achievement because it really makes participating in the expo more meaningful. While it was fun to work with my friends and display our work, having something to show for our effort made it all the more worthwhile.”
All in all, the first annual STEM expo was an intellectual event where participants and viewers were able to have fun and learn something new. This engaging event will hopefully continue to grow in the coming years.
Would you consider participating the STEM expo next year? Why or why not?