EQT STEM Days ignites a passion for learning in rural PA students

This September, The EdVenture Group and EQT traveled to two rural Pennsylvania elementary schools (West Greene Elementary Center and Bobtown Elementary) to implement the EQT STEM Days program. Funded by the EQT Foundation, this program provided over 300 students in grades 3-6 an opportunity to experience hands-on learning via a station-rotation model. Students engaged in subjects like design thinking and making, computer science and robotics, and STEM career exploration.

During the Computer Science and Robotics Station, students explored algorithmic thinking and block-based coding. The station introduced students to Sphero robotics, an app-enabled gyrosphere that can be coded to move, change color, make sound, and more. Students were given challenge activities, culminating in the completion of a maze challenge – with many groups succeeding!

The Makerspace Station provided students a hands-on opportunity to tinker and problem solve. Using a design thinking framework, students were given a stakeholder group (parents, community, teachers, etc.) and tasked with identifying a problem, developing an idea, and prototyping a solution. Both students and teachers learned a new way to identify, frame, and tackle problems.

The STEM Careers Station was facilitated by volunteers from EQT. Students explored career-based activities, including natural gas drilling and fracking, via hands-on STEM activities. This engaging session taught students about careers in their community with real-world application. By utilizing hands-on activities, students gained a better understanding of obscure STEM careers and concepts utilized within the oil and gas industry, one of the largest industries in their region.

As a result of the program, student knowledge increased by over 80%. Of over 300 students that participated, 100% said they learned something new, and 98% said they would enjoy more activities like EQT STEM Days during their regular school day. Teacher feedback was equally positive, with 100% of teachers reporting increased understanding of station concepts and recommending the program to other schools.

"It's like recess - but I'm learning!"

For more information on the EQT STEM Days program, or to bring the program to your school, contact Manager of Innovation, Amber Ravenscroft, today at [email protected].

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