ALEXANDRIA, La–– Students from across Central Louisiana were able to see, touch and feel to better understand how circuits and electricity work to power objects in everyday life. STEM Central Louisiana in partnership with the Department of Defense and STEM NOLA powered by Entergy hosted a STEM Saturday event to expose, inspire and engage Central Louisiana youth in STEM learning. Families from across Central Louisiana, including 25 families from the Fort Polk Army Base, attended the event as part of a DOD sponsorship that allows STEM NOLA to provide programming to military connected communities.
New Orleans-based non-profit STEM NOLA hosted the free event at LSU of Alexandria where they engaged 60 k-12 grade scholars from various schools in activities to explain circuits and electricity. After a demonstration to help them understand power, transmissions and how electricity gets from a power source to their homes, the students got to work innovating and engineering their own circuits. The K-2nd grade scholars had the opportunity to build and test their own flashlight and the 3rd-12th graders built and tested their own working stoplight.
“The importance is that they take what they learn today and they apply to riding down the street where they see the power lines,” STEMNOLA Administrative Coordinator Keelyn Myers explained. “When they get home, they turn the light on and understand whether that’s an open circuit, closed circuit, parallel circuit or a series circuit. They also apply everything they were able to touch and feel today into what they learn in school.”
This was an opportunity for students to innovate, create and make with 17 STEM professionals and volunteers, including a dozen ladies from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Zeta Phi Zeta Chapter of Alexandria who donated their time to the students.
“With STEM and technology, it’s a part of the future,” said Cole Posey who attended the event with his son. “The earlier we can introduce them to that type of technology and activity the better it’s going to be for them in the future.”
DOD STEM Central Louisiana will host camps throughout July for 3rd – 8th grade students focused on topics like friction, force and motion, technology and coding, chemistry and biology and environmental science. The camps will be at the Alexandria Youth and Teen Center located at 1801 Sylvester Dr., Alexandria, La 71301. To register and to see the full camp schedule, visit www.stemnola.com.