Over 70 seventh and eighth grade students learned about careers in STEM at recent event

Written by Patty Arthur, CTE Specialist, Spokane Public Schools 

 

On October 27th, Spokane Public School’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department inspired and engaged 8th graders, and a few 7th graders, to learn about STEM careers. Over 70 students gave up a sunny Saturday to learn about careers in several STEM fields at the SuperStars in STEM event at Shadle Park High School.

Attendees first toured table displays in Shadle’s gym. The tables were staffed by representatives from Inland Northwest Health Service, KSPS, the FBI , the Automotive Service Association, Hill International, Caterpillar, and the Spokane Police Bomb Squad. The students asked questions about the careers and education needed to work in the represented fields. Also in the gym were high school teachers showing experiments and activities they do in their high school classrooms. The teachers represented computer science, engineering, biology, biomed, photography, and plant science. Some teachers were assisted by their high school students and CyberPatriot and SkillsUSA students explained their club activities.

In the second part of the event, students attended three 40-minute workshops, picked from a total of twelve offerings. The workshops were developed and presented by the following area business and industry participants: Pyrotek, Jubilant HollisterStier (both Engineering and Chemistry departments), Garland Animal Clinic, NOAA Weather, Quest Integration, KSPS, Coffman Engineers, MacKay Manufacturing, Automobile Service Association NW, Spokane County Water Resources, and Gonzaga University Physics Department. Each presenter told about their business/industry, their pathway to their position, and then did a hands-on activity with the students that reflected a part of their work. Workshops were intended to be small, 6-10 students, to give a more personalized experience for both the presenter and the student. Students came away with some definite favorites and a few new career plans.