Virtual STEM Day Planned

Angie Bartholomay

BOTTINEAU- STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, partnering for an innovative movement in student awareness and education. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019-29 employment projections show that occupations in the STEM field are expected to grow 8.0 percent by 2029, compared with 3.7 percent for all occupations. (www.bls.gov)

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To assist in promoting awareness in STEM career opportunity, Dakota College at Bottineau has been awarded a grant from North Dakota Career and Technology Education (ND CTE). Partnering with North Central Education Cooperative (NCEC), this year's STEM Career awareness is offered to 16 schools throughout North Dakota. Past events have had over 350 students participate on the Dakota College campus. This year due to the pandemic, the opportunity to learn about STEM careers will be provided virtually. Links to video presentations and materials will be provided to registered schools where they will be able to view the presentation, complete the activity from March 15-April 1, 2021.

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Professionals from different STEM related fields across the state will provide recorded presentations about their career and directing hands-on projects. Students, grades 8-9 may view and participate in the hands-on demonstrations while using materials provided by means of the ND STEM Network grant through ND CTE. Hands-on projects will be available to empower students to use practices to excite and interest them in STEM careers. Sessions like Eye KNOWledge allows students to look inside an eye to see how our eyes work by dissecting a pig's eye. The Be Amphibious session provides an understanding of the anatomy of a frog, better understanding the human body system through dissection. This allows the students to explore and discover content across various areas of STEM in a way that engages their imagination and their creative thinking.

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Students have the opportunity to participate in sessions about:

* photography - students participate by taking photos with their smartphones,

* hologram illusions - learn the laws of reflection using a smart device,

* DNA extraction - students see their own DNA under an electron microscope,

* transmitting communicable diseases - simulation relating to the current pandemic,

* wind energy - focus on the measurement of wind

* plant propagation - successfully grow their own cuttings into new plants,

* sensory deprivation - experiment the sensory changes that occur with the aging process, and

* exploring for oil by being a geologist for a day.

"We are excited that we've found a way to provide this hands-on awareness opportunity for students to solve simulated real-world problems and explore with tools, systems and technology that can grow into a STEM career." says Angie Bartholomay, Associate Science Professor at Dakota College.

Each student is provided an opportunity to select three sessions from the project stations. This will familiarize them with different STEM fields.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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