The Red Ledger

First annual STEM festival to involve variety of students

The+STEM+festival+has+a+variety+of+activities%2C+competitions%2C+exhibits%2C+and+projects+for+students+and+parents.
The STEM festival has a variety of activities, competitions, exhibits, and projects for students and parents.

The STEM festival has a variety of activities, competitions, exhibits, and projects for students and parents.

Avery Degenhardt

Avery Degenhardt

The STEM festival has a variety of activities, competitions, exhibits, and projects for students and parents.

Katie Felton, Staff Writer

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Coding activities, competitions, and keynote speakers are just a few things to be offered at the district’s first STEM festival. The event, created by the district’s STEM council, will take place Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m at the high school.

“It is a celebration of all things STEM in Lovejoy ISD,” kindergarten through sixth science coordinator Cindy Bronson said. “We’ll have five main things happening but lots happening within each little section.”

Precalculus teacher Randy Brooks received a grant from the Foundation for Lovejoy Schools that allowed funding for Sphero bots and GoPros to be used for the STEM festival.

The funding from the foundation was the kindling that we needed to get the fire started,” Brooks said. “A STEM Advisory Council brainstorming session in late 2017 started the fire crackling, and it went to full burn about a month ago.  We identified key areas to target, members picked their areas of passion, and the planning began.  At that point, we never envisioned having speakers from NetGeo, Oculus, and Toyota.  We consider these developments as validation that this [area] needs and wants an event such as the Lovejoy ISD STEM Festival.”

There will be robotic demonstrations in the STEM wing. Third and fourth  graders will have their STEM projects on display, and there will be egg drop competitions, drone demonstrations, titrate races, virtual reality, maker spaces, and much more.

“Anybody can participate [in the competitions],” Bronson said. “We have different levels, so we’ve got the K through four students competing against each other and the five through eight students competing against each other as a separate age group and finally the high school students in a different age category.”

Brooks hopes to put the stereotypes about the STEM program to rest after the festival.

STEM suffers from a generalization of being male and robotics,” Brooks said. “We are bringing to light that STEM is all-inclusive, both in gender and in industry reach. For example, we have multiple female speakers that use STEM concepts daily as well as a math teacher playing electric guitar while showing that audio waves are the foundation of music.”

In an effort to show that STEM is used in multiple careers, the Dallas Zoo will be presenting at noon and 1:00 pm.

“We have the Dallas Zoo coming to talk about STEM and how even working with animals and zoos, how STEM is involved in that,” Bronson said. “We need lots of people going into STEM careers in the future. That’s where a lot of jobs are going to be, and so I think the younger and the more interest we can spark in all of our students, the better.”

The STEM council “hopes that it will eventually be as big and grand as the fine arts festival,” according to Bronson.

“It’s just a way to share what is happening in the district with STEM and get more students interested in it from a younger age,” Bronson said. “I think anytime you can get the community together and educate them about what is happening in the schools that’s really powerful, and it gets the community talking about the STEM program.”

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About the Contributors
Katie Felton, TRL Reporter

Senior Katie Felton, a four year Red Ledger staffer who suffers from severe senioritis, cannot wait to be done with high school. But, since she is stuck there until June, she is determined to make her last year her best year. As a part of making the 2017-2018 school year the best one yet, Felton created her schedule only with classes she enjoys going to, such as newspaper and art. Sadly, she was forced to include core classes. Newspaper has been a passion of Felton’s since middle school when she was one day added to the class, and she’s been a part of it every year since. Along with a love for journalism, Felton also has a soft spot for art– sculpture, to be exact. If she is not at school, she is probably working or with friends, as she’s not a big fan of sitting at home and doing nothing. Even though Felton already has one foot out the door, she adores newspaper, and it will be one of the very few things she will miss from her years at Lovejoy High School.

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Avery Degenhardt, TRL Graphic Designer

Avery joined “Intro To Photography” in eighth  grade with some curiosity, and she quickly learned the basics of photography and quickly improved. She learned to love the craft, and along with her “secret” part-time photoshop in the class, she obtained skills she never imagined she would have with a computer. Applying for newspaper and deciding if she wanted that challenge or not was probably the most difficult choice of her life, but she went through with it. Avery has established her place among the staff and continues to pursue her interest in  graphic art design. As a junior this year, she hopes to improve her skills in digital art and change her haircolor again.

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First annual STEM festival to involve variety of students