Red River Students Participate in S.T.E.M.

From Anna Moore, instructor at RRHS

“Here’s some pictures of 23 of our freshmen going to NSU on Tuesday (April 9th) to go on a STEAM Tour.  They toured the arts department (including theater, graphic design, and culinary arts), the engineering department, and the biology department (which also featured a presentation on CIS). 

“These are some pictures of the group as a whole and then some of the more interesting interactions they had.  The two boys (Ja’Milleun Wilson and Zintayvious Smith) in the chairs participated in a theater demonstration by playing a game called “bus stop”. 

“Then you have students (Payal Patel, Precious Gray, Kayla Williams, Keauna Henderson, Chasity Douglas,& Makayla Morse) learning about the Robotics club and competitions on campus. 

“Then we have some of our students (Jeyden Young, Sierra Durr, & Nathan Tristan) playing the VI system using a program that lets them “see” inside the body. 

“Finally we have our students touring the culinary school’s kitchen and learning about yeast and bread making.  The other two are group pictures.  Other students on the trip included: Hayley Loe, Brett Danzy, Korie Williamson, Gracie Baker, Mikayla Tingle, Morris Mitchell, Bre’Once Smith, Jakayla Caldwell, Makayla Caldwell, Natiya Ross, & Dalavion Wells.”

Here is the release from NSU on the event:

Northwestern State University, in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOFSA), hosted the inaugural S.T.E.A.M. tour for about 150 ninth graders from four high schools in the region.  Students visited several departments on campus to learn academic and career opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“Throughout the day, they toured campus, met college students and faculty and saw first-hand how interdisciplinary tools and projects enhance education and prepare students for innovative work in the modern world,” said Steve Gruesbeck, who coordinated the event with Dr. Jafar Al-Sharab, head of NSU’s Department of Engineering Technology.

“They are hearing from two representatives from each discipline to show how these areas intersect,” Gruesbeck said.  “For instance, we’ve paired Computer Information Systems with biology where students can see how virtual technology is applicable to health science.” 

Faculty also presented demonstrations in fine arts, culinary arts and engineering technology to show how those fields complement each other and students were able to view NSU’s Mazda Rotary Art Car, an interdisciplinary experiential learning project.  The day also included the New Media Student Showcase and a performance by the Out On A Limb Improv Troupe.

LOSFA’s partnership in the S.T.E.A.M. tour was orchestrated through Louisiana GEAR UP (Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), a federally funded national initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education which gives grants to states or institutions of higher learning to create partnerships with high-poverty middle or high schools.  In partnership with 16 school districts, LA GEAR UP aims to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.  

NSU’s S.T.E.A.M. tour was a preview to upcoming separate, but related week-long camps this summer for students in LA GEAR UP parishes, including Red River and Sabine.  Camp Locomotion will be July 8-12 to study movement of humans and robots. Energy Camp July 15-19 will focus on light and sound energy.  Robotics Camp will be July 22-26 and Advanced Robotics will be July 29-Aug. 1.  On Fridays each camp will include an off-site educational and career-oriented field trip.

“Robots are a great STEAM tool because they combine so many principles at one time such as engineering, problem-solving and team work. In addition, robots play a significant role in advanced manufacturing and smart factories,” Sharab said. Students will also learn about safety, electrical and digital electronics and robot programming.

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