Hundreds of students and their parents explored science, technology, engineering and math during the first-ever Family STEM Night at River Dell Elementary.
With the help of N.C. State University’s The Engineering Place, more than 500 students and their parents enjoyed building catapults, packaging s’mores, testing diapers’ absorbency, designing roller coasters and engineering straw rockets.
“All of the nearly 1,500 people who participated in the STEM Night left with more knowledge about the benefits of STEM education,” said Cindy Raynor, STEM teacher at River Dell Elementary. “N.C. State University said it was the biggest turnout from a school in the history of their outreach program.”
River Dell principal Janet Lebo said she looked forward to holding another Family STEM Night in the future.
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“It was great to see all the families come out and support our STEM program,” Lebo said. “STEM has a bright future here at River Dell Elementary.”
Lebo said River Dell would improve on its STEM night by acquiring more materials for students to use and by improving parking for parents.
STEM is a project-based way of teaching and learning that allows students to appreciate the relevancy of their work to their own lives.
Students in Raynor’s STEM class are getting an opportunity to solve problems and develop hands-on projects to make new discoveries, just as professional scientists, engineers and mathematicians do.
“STEM at River Dell is a rock-star program thanks to the continued support of families, PTA and community,” Raynor said.
Raynor plans to seek more grants and form partnerships with local businesses and organizations to better the STEM program at River Dell Elementary.