STEM gets around

On April 19, The Boy Scouts of America brought a mobile STEM lab to the Holy Redeemer lower parking lot. This helps promote science and technology in a fun way for the Holy Redeemer student body. The lab was started in 2019, thanks to a generous donation from John Mathes and the Great Rivers Conference Foundation, according to Logan Lawrence. “For the future workforce, [STEM] is very important.”

One of the activities at the STEM lab was Snap Circuits, which challenge the user’s creativity by having them connect little circuits to make sounds and move propellers. Students could also manage little rovers. These vehicles could be controlled and programmed to move around.

Another activity involved building structures out of wood planks, called Contraptions. A ball was then rolled through the structure so it could curve or knock down things. In a similar way, another game in the STEM lab asked students to remotely move robotic balls, called Spheros, to do things like run into each other and knock down cones and pins.

The Boy Scouts also made a station involving a flashlight-sized microscope. This microscope allowed the students to examine things like rocks, leaves and even small cuts in the skin.
Another activity demonstrated what a 3D pen could do. The pens used a long coil of filament inserted in them to build three-dimensional objects. This allowed the user to make any design or object they wanted, from a ring to a simple square. This activity in particular seemed to be the favorite of all of the classes that participated.

The final task that students could undertake was shooting stomp rockets that could be operated by simply slamming their foot on a bag filled with air. The rocket would then fly out high into the air and the user would retrieve it. “[It’s] fun because you jump and catch [the rockets],” said eighth grader, Quinn Wulkopf.

This STEM activity brought in by the Boy Scouts of America was sponsored by HR’s Parent and Teacher Organization. The money was raised at the parent Jingle and Mingle party on Dec. 10, 2022. PTO wanted to provide students with some more stem opportunities. It was a great way for kids to disconnect from the classroom while learning in a fun and active way. The students seemed to enjoy their time with the STEM lab, and several kids said they hoped it would visit school again soon.

Photos by Patrick Geiss, Finn Rose, and Mr. Richard Dempsey

Ethan Heavey
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