Expanding STEM Culture

By Jeremy Knowlton

WMSI Mobile STEM has been visiting new schools in 2017, building on a culture for STEM and creative problem solving! Groveton and Milan have been two of the newest additions, with STEM Explorers at each school voicing excitement for staying after school and digging into fun problems involving robotics, circuits, game design, and much more! 

 Explorers psyched about STEM!

Explorers psyched about STEM!

A big part of WMSI's vision is to create a culture of STEM, where students always have inventing and making on their mind when they choose classes and after-school programming. We've already seen signs that this culture exists and is building. In Milan, there is an amazing maker facility on the second floor of the school, where crafting and robotics are available to students through classes and clubs. When we visited Milan, we shared new ideas and techniques for these amazing tools with a robotic spin art challenge. Students loved the designs they could create by automating a spinner and also were blown away by some of the optical illusions that such setups could create. 

 STEM Explorers crowding in to look at a two gear spinner 

STEM Explorers crowding in to look at a two gear spinner 

We later created motion sensors, creating automatic scarers for Halloween and a motion sensor that says "welcome to Milan Village School!" every time someone walks through the door!

Groveton also has a growing maker area in a separate classroom building right next to the Elementary school. Within the space, music, design, and, most importantly, fun problem solving await. There's even a ball pit!

Similar to other schools we visit, STEM culture in Groveton has excited several 8th graders to become Youth Leaders. These leaders have been a huge help for STEM Explorer problem solving, helping students design robotic elephants, crickets, and other whacky creations. 

 It moves!

It moves!

In short, WMSI is super excited to be visiting a total of 7 schools in Spring 2017! We are also psyched to be joining and adding to each school's already thriving STEM culture and excitement about creative problem solving. 

Up next, We'll be putting out a blog about the whackiest game controllers you've ever seen!