Representatives from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Roane State Community College—as well as Superintendent Bruce Borchers—will take part in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Night for students at Woodland Elementary School on Thursday.
The STEM Night for students is being hosted by the Woodland Parent Teacher Organization, a press release said. It will be in the school’s gymnasium. Borchers will kick off the event with opening comments at 5:15 p.m. Thursday.
A press release said Borchers is pursuing avenues to make Oak Ridge “the” premier STEM school district in the country.
“STEM Night at Woodland is just one of many events in the school district that align with Dr. Borchers’ goal,” the release said. “The superintendent is currently working on initiatives to bring digital curriculum and sweeping technology changes to Oak Ridge classrooms.”
Several local businesses and government organizations are participating in Woodland’s STEM Night. The ORNL Remote Systems Group will have hands-on robot manipulation and 3D gaming stations, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management will help students create their own lava lamps, the release said. Local astronomy enthusiasts, teaching staff, and students from the Tamke-Allan Observatory at Roane State Community College will have telescopes set up for the elementary students who are in the middle of studying weather and constellations during their Science Center block.
Other groups participating include employees from Tennessee Valley Authority and URS-CH2M, or UCOR, with financial donations from Newton Cosmetic Dentistry and the local Jacobs Future group. Students will participate in 13 stations in all that will also include fraction hopscotch, gummy bear catapulting, and marshmallow and spaghetti tower-building competitions.
In a press release, the DOE Oak Ridge Office said its employees are volunteering to “help young students forge a love for math and science and realize the possibilities these disciplines offer.
“The event involves numerous local sponsors and community groups that are helping design and share fun, educational activities for children in kindergarten through fourth grade,” the press release said. “Kids will have the opportunity to learn through robots, Legos, gummy bear catapults, astronomy, spaghetti and marshmallow tower-building competitions, and math code busters. Specifically, Environmental Management employee volunteers will teach participants how to create their own lava lamps.”