STEM orientation night introduces eighth graders to pathways

By Nina Otebele, Hawkeye staff

MTHS students and staff hosted the annual eighth grade STEM night on Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Every year, MTHS hosts a STEM night to attract incoming ninth graders to join the STEM program.

The first half hour of the event started with James Wilson, a MTHS STEM teacher, briefly explaining what the STEM programs is about. The focus then shifted to a short explanation of all of the STEM related clubs. Each club president from Robotics (VRC and FRC), Rocketry, the Technology Student Association and IATRIX 21 made a brief speech about their clubs.

After the club presentations, three seniors from each of the three STEM pathways talked about their pathway in the theater. Teresa Bonilla talked about the Biotech Pathway, Daniel Leavitt talked about the Computer Science Pathway and Reece Newhouse talked about the Aerospace Pathway.

The second hour of the event split up the parents and the 8th graders. Biotechnology teacher Penny Lefavour talked with the parents more in-depth about all the opportunities that the STEM program can bring to their students. The eighth graders participated in three different activities relating to the each STEM pathways.

To represent the Biotech Pathway, students participated in an activity that allowed them to separate the DNA from a strawberry. For the Aerospace Pathway, students built little rockets. STEM students Katie Barry, Leo Krouper and Michel Smith volunteered to help the students launch their little rockets. Finally, for the Computer Science Pathway, eighth graders learned about binary codes and practiced writing them on a worksheet.

The last half hour of the event allowed the eighth graders and their parents to explore the STEM hallway and visit STEM classrooms. In each STEM class there was a showcase of STEM awards, clubs, projects, robots and rockets. By the end of the event, students and their parents went home with a newfound knowledge of the MTHS STEM program.