Musicians, pilots, police officers and nurse practitioners were just a few of the professions represented at Crawford W. Long Middle School’s second annual STEM Fair on April 12.
“The whole purpose of the day was college and career-based STEM,” said Tanya Barrett, STEM program specialist. “As we work towards our STEM certification, our goal is to build leaders and to help students get to college and start careers. Hands-on opportunities allow our students to see themselves in new ways, and it allows teachers to see students respond to content differently.”
Students rotated to different STEM sessions throughout the day. STEM professionals also joined classrooms for discussions. Barrett says students particularly enjoyed the police officer who discussed how STEM is used in investigations. The Black Pilots Association talked to students about aviation, a nurse practitioner talked about the medical profession, and Make Music Count founder & CEO Marcus Blackwell showed students how to engage with math through music.
The Make Music Count app is an innovative math curriculum for grades 3-12 that teaches students how to master fractions, graphing, algebra and pre-calculus through popular music. (Blackwell is offering free licensing through the summer to any interested APS school. Just email email@example.com for details.)
Other hands-on activities included photography, robotics and spheros, operating 3D printers and drones and building model bridges with cue tips and marshmallows. The model bridge project illustrated engineering concepts and was facilitated by Field of Dreams, a nonprofit with the goal to expose under-served students to STEM.
The day concluded with students who put the “A” in STEM; that is, the “arts.” Representatives from Billionaire Buddies guided students in 45-minute sessions, where they learned how to count beats, write music, devise a social media marketing plan, and rehearse. Select groups performed their original lyrics and dances to a small group of peers.