Like many other high schools in small cities across America, Springboro High School is operating on a budget far below those of larger facilities in their state. While this obviously affects extracurricular activities for the school district, it also leads to cuts in STEM education. Unfortunately, these cuts greatly affect middle- and low-income families like those with children attending Springboro High.
But one motivated group of Springboro moms weren’t satisfied to watch the possibility of future STEM careers evaporate from their children’s future due to lack of funds. These fierce parents put together one of the most impressive STEM events in grade school history. Coined “STEMfest,” the cross between a science fair and a career day came together in just seven weeks.
But even more impressive than the determination and speed with which STEMfest was assembled is the engagement and enjoyment expressed by all who were lucky enough to attend. When all was said and done, nearly 30 different exhibits were constructed with the goal of captivating the very youngest children to those getting ready to leave for college. The accessibility and various levels of difficulty made the event exciting for the whole family.
The interactive exhibits completely filled the high school gym and spilled out into the parking lot. Students were able to build advanced robots from LEGOs, try finger-painting with music, and even got to use a 3D printer to make small objects. Karen DeRosa, a STEMfest volunteer, explained the incredible potential that STEMfest has to impact and inspire students. “The traditional classroom and traditional curriculum can’t always reach everyone with the same level of interest or activity. STEMfest gives that opportunity.” Not only were students given the opportunity to experience interactive learning, but they were exposed to technologies that are becoming integral parts of countless careers in the STEM fields.
Despite a lack of funding and support on the Federal level, the community of Springboro wasn’t content to watch their children fall behind when it comes to their education. Parents, teachers, volunteers, and students all came together to show that creativity and perseverance can lead to invaluable opportunities. And for the kids at STEMfest, those opportunities now extends to the worlds of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.