Westminster hosts STEAM Night

Anakin Bush/Fulton Sun A blackboard in a Westminster College classroom shows various microbes, and presents information on the topic at STEAM Night. Fourth and fifth grade students at the event were able to learn about microbes and other science-related topics through hands-on activities.

Westminster College hosted the first STEAM Night on Wednesday, allowing local youth a space to learn about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

This is the first time the college has hosted this event.

Local fourth and fifth grade students were invited to attend STEAM Night. The purpose of the event was to allow students to experience hands-on learning and show them what a career in a STEAM field might offer.

The event was organized by both Westminster professors and students.

A variety of hands-on activities were available for the students to experience. These activities included testing grip strength, extracting DNA from a banana, building spaghetti towers and examining fossils.

One booth at the event focused on flowers and microbes. Shyann Michaels was one Westminster student who helped run this station.

She said she got recommended to participate in the event by a professor.

Michaels said she loves science, but feels the science education students receive isn't as good as it used to be.

"It's just fun to let them (the students) see the real parts of science, and not just the textbook stuff the school shows them," Michaels said.

She added that it could be a good way for the students to get interested in a science career at a younger age.

Another station at STEAM Night focused on physical activity and the health benefits of being physically active. This station also let participants test their grip strength.

Andrew Lurkins was one student who helped run this station. He said he also learned about STEAM Night through a professor.

"I just thought it was a good idea, and something that I'd like to do," Lurkins said.

He said it is really important for kids to experience learning through hands-on activities.

"I think it just gets them engaged, and when you're engaged you learn more. And with something like this that is really important for your health, muscular strength and all these physical activities, it's important for them to see it and hear about it and connect it," he said.