Outer Banks Student Scientists at COA for STEM Fair
By Kip Tabb –
The 2014 STEM Fair at the Roanoke Island COA campus on Wednesday was one of those events that renews your faith in kids and our schools.
Amidst all the voices of doom and gloom for the American education system, one absolute self-evident truth remains–our best students want to be challenged, want to explore thoughts, concepts and ideas that are new and different.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the fair yesterday at the COA campus was sanctioned by the NC Science Festival, tying the event into a world wide web of presenters and information.
“We were able to offer approximately 300 sophomore and junior high school students from Dare County the opportunity to learn about STEM careers through sessions, live feeds, tours, hands-on workshops and a Marine Science and STEM career fair,” Dana Newton, Marine Sciences Program Coordinator for COA, said.
Walking into the auditorium, 75 or 80 kids were glued to a presentation from NASA–a live presentation–talking about . . . rocket science. The gym, where most of the activities and booths were located, was hive a excited voices, energy and enthusiasm.
And it wasn’t only the kids who were excited. In talking to the people manning the booths, they often seemed as exhilarated as the kids were given the opportunity to engage students personally and talk about the passion they have for the sciences or math.
“Students just lit up seeing the NASA live feed and hearing our keynote speaker’s presentation among others,” Newton said. ” It’s a good day for me when I can share my own passion for science with other students.”
The STEM Fair is an annual event and STEM fairs are held nationwide. This year’s event was sponsored by COA Marine Sciences Department and Dare County Schools.