The Department of Advanced Technologies hosted STEM Day at the K.L. Simmons Technology Building on the campus of Alcorn State University (ASU) on April 10th-12th from 9:40 am – 11:40 am each day. STEM Day was composed over a course of three days with three different classes each day from Mamie Martin Elementary School which is located in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
The purpose of this event was to expose students to STEM at a young age because most students are not exposed to STEM, which is the acronym for Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics, until they are older. Students were given an outlook of STEM through six different hands-on activities, which included Programming Cars, experimenting with the Geiger-Muller (GM) Counter, Robotics, Homemade Slime, Colored Volcanos and the Shrinking Chip Bag Experiment.
Each activity had a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics background. In the Colored Volcanoes experiment, the 2nd graders learned how acid can react to a substance when exposed. In the Geiger-Muller Counter experiment the students learned what radiation is, how to detect radiation material and how it can harm and be exposed in the environment. In the Homemade Slime experiment, the students learned how polymers can react to hold things together and how a liquid turns into a solid. In the Probots (Programming Cars) section, the students learned how to program a robotic car and make the car actually move. In the Robotics sections, the students were able to program the robots and make the robots do the actions of the program. In the Chip Bag Experiment, the students had snack time, which included chips and juice. After they ate all of their chips they shrunk the chip bag. They learned how aluminum paint can still be on the chip bag even if the bag became smaller. The chip bag shrank due to polymers inside of the bag.
Lakeia Vaughn, a teacher at Mamie Martin Elementary School explained why Stem Day was important to students by stating, “The students are given the opportunity to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It helps them to become creative thinkers and problem solvers. They are also getting to do activities that they normally wouldn’t do in school.”