BYU event makes math and science fun for stu­dents

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Lorene Moore

How do you make frac­tions fun? Turn them into a bas­ket­ball game. How do you teach stu­dents about me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and propul­sion? Let them build their own self-pro­pelled rub­ber band race car. How do you show the crip­pling ef­fects of trau­matic brain in­juries to kids and help them to un­der­stand the in­tri­cate net­work that is our ner­vous sys­tem? Stick a tens unit on their arm and have them try not to let their fin­gers curl while the elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tors are telling to curl.

These were just some of the en­gag­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that Brigham Young Univer­sity stu­dents used to share their love of Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics (STEM) with sixth-, sev­enth- and eighth-graders from all over Utah. The univer­sity and grade-school stu­dents met up at Dis­cover STEM, an event held at BYU to ex­plore and en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to Science, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math­e­mat­ics pro­vided by BYU stu­dents in these fields of study.

“I love the look on kids faces when I tell them that prob­lem they just solved or that game they just played was re­ally math,” said Sarah Brooks, one of the stu­dents vol­un­teer­ing her time at the event. “They’re so sur­prised when we show them how much fun math can be.”

The hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties had par­tic­i­pants feel­ing - as well as think­ing - about the con­cepts they were be­ing taught. Whether they were us­ing AA bat­ter­ies and jumper wires to power a small mo­tors or iPads to pro­gram codes for in­ter­ac­tive ro­bots, stu­dents could see the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions of the science and math they are learn­ing in school.

“My fa­vorite part was the vir­tual re­al­ity roller coaster,” said David Moore, a sev­enth-grade stu­dent at Salem Ju­nior High School. “It was like get­ting to see the fu­ture.”

Help­ing stu­dents see the fu­ture is what the sciences are about, and help­ing stu­dents see them­selves in that fu­ture is what Dis­cover STEM is all about.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.