When most middle school kids were enjoying a typical Saturday morning by sleeping in, Mr. Sefcik, Stanton School's Principal, and nine STEM class students hit the road early on October 8, heading west, for Northern Illinois University's STEMfest 2016.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math and is taught at Stanton by Mr. David Roat, the school's technology coordinator. According to Mr. Roat, "STEM is a movement to develop the deep mathematical and scientific underpinnings students need to be competitive in the 21st-century workforce and integrates concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects in different classes, emphasizing the application of knowledge to real-life situations".
This is the first year Stanton has offered STEM class and attending STEMfest was a great opportunity. STEMfest provided exciting hands-on experiences of the latest innovations in science and technology. NIU's STEM departments, student groups, regional corporations, museums, educators, and national labs joined forces to present hundreds of activities that ranged in complexity to entertain people of all ages.
By offering STEM class and attending STEMfest, Mr. Sefcik hopes to increase the awareness the critical role science and other STEM fields play in the world every day. "It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning with a great group of kids--I was truly impressed with their analytical skills, willingness to challenge themselves, and to stretch their young minds", said Mr. Sefcik.