In the first of what organizers hope to be many, students from around the region turned out to participate in the West Sound STEM Showcase on May 4th. Fifty local organizations involved with science, technology, engineering and math participated to bring 65 interactive booths to Bremerton High School on Saturday. Olympic ESD, in partnership with local school districts, the Puget Sound Navel Shipyard, Naval Hospital Bremerton, and numerous local businesses, form the West Sound STEM Network who’s purpose is to work together to lead K-12 students into the next generation of learning.
“Washington State is forty-sixth in the time spent teaching science in elementary schools, and we know students choose STEM careers by the time they are in middle school,” said Karen Lippy, Olympic ESD Science Specialist. “Families, community and schools all can play a role in exposing students to more science and how it is integrated with technology and the exciting world of engineering. The West Sound STEM Network is working cooperatively and collaboratively to strengthen the implementation of STEM innovations, providing two-way communication to support student STEM opportunities around the West Sound.”
After nearly a year of planning, lead by Corrine Beach, STEM Coordinator of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, representatives from local school districts and the OESD, The West Sound STEM Showcase attracted over 500 visitors. Interactive booths hosted by STEM professionals and students, engaged families in block play, a planetarium, building catapults, launching rockets, making hovercrafts, constructing toolboxes, driving robotics and underwater vehicles, designing packaging for eggs, finding microfossils, engaging in recycling, handling bugs and reptiles experiencing the science in medical emergencies, and much more.
Throughout the event, the crowd buzzed with fun and excitement. Despite the gorgeous day awaiting outside, children begged to stay longer!
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