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Middle school students STEAM their way to OTC event

Students experiment with stream table at STEAM event.

Students were welcomed to anatomy class by authentic skeleton.

The OTC Richwood Valley Campus was filled with energetic and inquisitive middle school students enjoying the presentations and demonstrations that made up the college’s first STEAM event on Friday, June 19.

STEAM – which stands for Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/ Mathematics – allowed more than 60 middle school students to get a sampling of academic subjects with a focus on math and science with a touch of the artistic.

The OTC Life Science department sponsored the recent event.

Sessions included topics ranging from ecology, anatomy, genetics and engineering to chemistry, anatomy, architecture and computer science.

“We were very excited to present the inaugural STEAM event. Students had the opportunity to observe, design and conduct experiments while working collaboratively in small groups during the sessions,” said Joyce Hill, chair of the college’s Life Science department.

“The event also gave us an opportunity to reach out to young students. We need to support their natural curiosity, especially among young girls.”

Sisters Katie and Avery Brooks of Fordland were excited to have a chance to delve further into science.

Katie is interested in math and found the architecture class interesting.

“I liked that their designs started from ideas they write down on a napkin,” the seventh grader said.

Big sister Avery, a freshman at Fordland High School, said her dad heard about the event and thought she would be interested in attending.

“I like math. I was in the science Olympiad at my school. I learned some basic stuff,” she said.

Students from around the region, including homeschoolers, attended the daylong event.

A similar event for high school students will be held July 17 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Richwood Valley Campus. Registration is $20, which includes all supplies & materials, food, and an event T-shirt & sling backpack. To register online, go to news.otc.edu/steamdays.

“The more events we do like this, the more we help students delve into their scientific interests. We hope to plant a seed in their minds so they look forward to studying science,” Hill said.

 

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