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Redwater students get excited about learning on STEM Day

The Friday prior to getting out for Thanksgiving break, Redwater Junior High tried a new event to keep its students learning and engaged. Under the direct supervision of junior high robotics and technology teacher, Stephanie Windham, the seventh and eighth graders participated in a day devoted to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“I think the STEM Day was a success,” Windham said. “ Students seemed to enjoy themselves while they were learning and it I think it fulfilled its purpose, which was to promote and encourage interests in STEM and the STEM career fields.”
Many of the students agreed with Windham and enjoyed their day-long learning experience.
“Learning about new things, such as the lunar samples, was a good way to keep us interested on a Friday before a holiday,” seventh grader Paris Gilbert said. “It gave us something fun to do, besides just classwork.”
Some of the junior high students that will be moving up to high school next year enjoyed the day and said they would miss getting to learn in this manner.
“I wish we could do this in high school. It is definitely a different way of learning that is pretty cool,” eighth grader Alex Calicott said. “I liked how we used every day items, like the iPads, to create something. It was just a lot of fun and my favorite part was the VR headsets that showed us the International Space Station and the solar system.”
Windham said both grades also enjoyed KTLA Chief Meteorologist Todd Warren’s presentation, provided by the Learning for Life program. She thought the seventh graders really seemed to enjoy creating edible space craft, while the eighth graders enjoyed the VR headsets and creating the miniature rubberband rockets.    
“It was really fun because it was different from what we do every day and my favorite part was also the VR headsets,” eighth grader Natalie Robertson said. “They made it look like we were really there. I think they should make this an annual event for all grades, so more kids can experience it.”
Windham said every event has a few hitches at first and this one was no different. All of the issues that popped up, however, were minor and will help them improve the event in the future, as will the student excitement.
“I think seeing the kids getting excited about learning and hearing them discuss that learning with each other was my favorite part,” Windham said. “We were also pleased to see the community members and parents that came out to the event. We area already thinking about next year.”
There is still one piece to this new and exciting day left to complete after the Christmas holidays. Redwater’s eighth graders and the fifth graders from Mindehall in Plano are doing a project entitled “Ship the Chip.” The object was to create a way to package and mail a potato chip without it breaking in transit or while being opened. Redwater sent their chips first.


Photo by Maggie Parker

Bowie County Citizens Tribune

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