Kids Learn STEM Education Can Be Fun Too | News
WATER IN FEAR – There was an event on Monday that opened the eyes of school children in the area to the wonders of space.
It also opened their minds to the importance of knowing science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM for short.
âThere are a lot of future jobs in STEM,â said Mirissa Scholting, Cass County 4-H extension assistant. âThe technology is advancing. We need more people in engineering, more people in math. The earlier they are exposed to it, the more it will spark their interest and allow them to learn more.
The five elementary students, all members of 4-H, took part in an event called “Galactic Quest” at the Cass County Extension Office.
It was run by the University of Nebraska as part of its “boarding schools” around the state over the holidays, featuring UNL students helping young people with various exercises.
The UNL students at Monday’s event were Elaina Madison, Meagan Heimbrecht and Marcus Cureton.
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The event is actually part of a national 4-H initiative in which colleges across the country submit ideas each year for young students to learn.
This year’s topic on space education was submitted by Clemson University, according to Scholting.
âSpace is a hot topic right now,â she said.
The first exercise involved children building, then flying, paper planes as an âicebreakerâ to warm them up for more complex exercises.
The first was to decode messages from a series of letters.
âIt teaches them about cybersecurity and its importance in space,â Scholting said. âCommunication must remain precise and nothing is going wrong. “
The next exercise was to build telescopes, with lenses.
Next, the kids watched a video about the ever-increasing use of robots in space.
âThe robots helped build the International Space Station,â the announcer said on the video. âRobotics are becoming more and more a part of everyday life.
The kids worked as a team to create a robotic hand that included using water pushed through a long tube to act as hydraulic force to move the claws back and forth.
âIf you enjoy problem-solving and working in a team, this is a good choice for you,â Scholting said of STEM education.
It seemed to suit the participating children well.
âIt’s awesome,â Emma Bitterman said. âI was already interested in space. “
Alyse Smedlund added: âIt’s fun. It helps you a lot to learn more about the stars.