by Bonnie Butcher
More than 100 students from surrounding area schools recently gathered for the second
annual So You Think You Can STEM, an event hosted at the University of West Georgia
by the College of Education’s Fusion Center. The theme for this year’s event was “STEM Goes to the Olympics.”
“The UWG STEM competition is a great opportunity for our students to develop their teamwork skills while applying their prior knowledge in novel situations,” said Dr. Cynthia Beers, a science teacher at Central High School. “This competition is unique because it challenges students to apply their critical thinking skills to a wide spectrum of tasks from math skills to engineering design.”
Teams of four, with students from 11 different middle, junior, and high schools, competed in this all-day event.
“Science and math are my favorite subjects in school, but sometimes those subjects get hard,” said Kaitlyn Smith, eighth grader at Lee Middle School. “This event helps me remember that science and math are my passion and helps me keep going in that direction.”
The morning portion involved activities in laboratory skills, design and engineering, mathematics, and technology applications. In the afternoon, the teams competed in a Quiz Bowl and awards for the day’s events were distributed.
“Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I was very impressed with their creative problem solving and the preparation they have received at their schools,” said Dr. Dianne Hoff, dean of the College of Education. “We hope, through events like these, to encourage students to attend UWG, or other universities, and pursue a major in science, technology, engineering, or math, which ultimately will help build a STEM-literate workforce for Georgia's future.”
The schools in participation included Haralson Middle, Carrollton Middle, Stewart Middle, Lee Middle, Woodland Middle, Oak Mountain Academy, Unity Christian, Carrollton Junior High, Central High, and Villa Rica High.