STEM program encourages parents to involve children in sciences

awoolen@macon.comApril 3, 2013 

WARNER ROBINS -- The cafeteria at Northside Elementary School was turned into a science lab March 26.

Fifteen different stations were set up, and there was hardly room to move from table to table.

From rocket Lego sets to space suits, the children were engaged in hands-on activities to learn about science, technology, engineering and math at the Family Stem Adventure, which was funded by a grant from NASA. The night was hosted by the Museum of Aviation’s National STEM Academy.

Lead instructor Calla Busby wore a NASA lab coat while directing students to take part in experiments such as building molecules with jelly beans and making an asteroid out of molding clay.

There were green gloves that were designed to simulate what scientists use while doing experiments. While wearing the rubber gloves, children tried to pick up Legos surrounded by a clear box.

The interactive experiences were designed to help parents encourage their children to participate.

“So many people don’t realize the extent of (NASA discoveries’) importance on everyday life,” said Clare Swinford, of the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center.

The STEM program teaches students at a young age how to come up with ideas to build things and think about the way things work.

Kodee Bostick, 12, saw Legos and started building a space shuttle within minutes of the start of the event.

His stepmother said he gets the sets for every birthday and Christmas.

But engineering isn’t what Kodee wants to study. He wants to learn paleontology.

Taishon Maynare, 7, said his favorite activity was shooting spitballs.

The first-grader was referring to shooting little rocks at a target in a box to demonstrate velocity and how fast the rocks go depending on how hard the student blew into the straw.

Northside Elementary Principal Jodi Clark was enthusiastic about the opportunity for her students.

“When it’s science time, they get really excited,” she said.

Parent Janet Horn agreed.

“He’d stay here until tomorrow,” she said of her son Caleb Horn, 6. “When it comes to space and stars, I can’t keep him inside.”

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service