The first annual Exposition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, was held on Saturday at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy. The free event was hosted by Beehive Science and Technology Academy, a STEM charter school in Sandy. Hundreds of students in grades 6 through 12 demonstrated their STEM skills to the crowd of parents and spectators.
Republican State Senator Aaron Osmond of Salt Lake City was among the guest speakers at the Expo. He said most legislators are in favor of increased funding for STEM education.
“The business leaders across the state are making it very clear that they’re concerned and unless we do something, they’re going to have to either relocate outside the state or stop building their businesses that they are building right here in the state, and we got that message loud and clear,” says Osmond. “And then we realize that when we support STEM-like education, our kids re-engage in their regular education. They’re so excited to be validated by industry and focus on something that they love like technology, it creates a better outcome for the STEM that we do in public education,” Osmond says.
Student Gabby Goehring correctly hypothesized that texting while driving caused the most distractions among the students she tested in a driving simulator at a recent science fair. She says she enjoyed seeing the various reactions in people during her research.
“So it was cool to see how people react in certain situations and we’re not all the same when we get distracted,” says Goehring.
Sisters Kim and Katie Drennan are in the Lego League at the academy. One of their challenges was to solve a world problem caused by natural disaster.
“We came up with the idea to have a cockroach go into earthquake rubble and drop transmitters to create an entire network so you can find people in the rubble,” says older sister Kim.
Beehive’s principal, Hanifi Oguz, says the school is building a better future by encouraging students to explore and solve problems through STEM. He says the Expo is important because it broadens students’ vision of STEM.