Big Bend brings STEM learning to high school students

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Big Bend Community College is continuing efforts to get more kids interested in STEM learning. The college has been using its STEM Summer Institute to introduce Basin high school students to engineering and other related subjects – part of their overall initiative to prepare students to eventually enter STEM-related fields.

MOSES LAKE – Big Bend Community College is continuing efforts to get more kids interested in STEM learning.

The college has been using its STEM Summer Institute to introduce Basin high school students to engineering and other related subjects – part of their overall initiative to prepare students to eventually enter STEM-related fields.

Now in its third year, the program allows students to participate in hands-on learning projects, tour Big Bend’s campus and STEM Center, learn about degree options and meet with engineers from local companies all over the course of three days.

A similar program also exists for college-age students, and will take place later this month.

STEM Engineering Curriculum Specialist James Sauceda said the Summer Institute is a good way for students to see if a STEM career is for them or not.

“It’s a hands-on introduction to engineering subjects,” he said. “And it shows students what they can get involved with here at Big Bend with our curriculum and even beyond.”

A lot of what students learn during the Summer Institute ties into what Big Bend STEM students learn while in the program, said Sauceda.

The first day for example, students worked on building model bridges. The bridge had to eventually be tested to make sure they were structurally sound and could handle various loads, he said.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” said Sauceda. “It takes an understanding of statics, which this activity was kind of like an introduction to statics – something that’s in our mechanical engineering course.”

Read full article at: http://www.columbiabasinherald.com/news/school_news/article_87a66492-21ab-11e4-bfa7-001a4bcf887a.html

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