The STEMPosium is a yearly event at Athens Drive High School that happened this year on May 14, 2022, where students and their parents can see what the students in the STEM academy do for their STEM projects.
Lauren Doran, Athens Drive High School teacher and STEM Coordinator said, “STEM Education is a mindset that is centered on creative problem solving and failing forward [encourages] students to learn through real world problems. The STEM classes and the STEM program are designed so that students do this in class with Project Based Learning and with their yearly STEM Project.”
STEM is an academy at the Drive that students apply to before their freshman year. They do extra work and projects around real world problems. STEM Academy also helps prepare students for college. In STEM students are required to do projects that would not be possible in normal academic classrooms.
Katherine Dean, STEM President said, “In STEM, we take one or two classes per year that are cohorted … with are grade so that usually means [our] science classes like biology you take with all other kids in STEM in your grade.”
In STEM, they do more work, but on top of that they also do a final project which is shared with other students, teachers, and parents at STEMPosium.
“Another part we do in STEM is a final project at the end of the year that we present at the STEMPosium,” said Dean.
Students in STEM academy must work a lot with science, technology, engineering and math to ensure their projects are a success.
Kevin Nolan, a freshman in STEM, said, “We get to be in cohorted classes and learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. I have made some friends in the academy, and it’s pretty fun.”
The freshmen STEM students are required to do a final STEM project about applying a better sustainable energy source for countries around the world.
“We are doing research on the current energy portfolio of Japan and are attempting to plan for its energy future. We found out what renewable energy sources were best for Japan,” said Nolan.
There are multiple groups in the freshman STEM academy, not only Nolan’s group.
“There were some other groups that did different countries like Serbia and Singapore, and they all have different needs for the future,” said Nolan.
STEM projects are different based on what grade the student is in. For example, juniors do research on different ways that people can make Athens Drive a more sustainable school.
Himesh Kafle, a junior at Athens Drive Magnet High School said, “We suggested Athens Drive use solar panels [on roofs] and robotics with a higher albedo because an albedo pretty much, … high albedo indicates that the surface can reflect sunlight.”
Being in the STEM academy and the students’ STEM projects can help to boost college applications and their acceptance rates.
“I want to be a lawyer … I wanna help advocate for public sciences as a lawyer, and that means [i would be fighting for] climate change,” said Kafle.
STEM is not only for the STEMPosium, but also offers many career opportunities.
Ellie Rinehart, NC State College representative said, “There’s a variety of different opportunities in stem with science technology engineering and math; you can be in the field in the outdoors, you can work for an engineering firm, you can work in a lab as well so a variety of different options for you as well a lot of different career paths that you can do.”
STEM gives students many different opportunities for students at Athens. This is why the STEM program and the STEMPosium is an important event at Athens Drive High School.