The UConn Engineering Ambassadors (EA) partnered with the CT Science Center to hold STEM Night on Thursday, November 17, 2016. The annual event is organized by EA's Presentation Team to introduce local middle school students to the breadth and intrigue of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Hosted by the CT Science Center in Hartford, the event provides students and parents the opportunity to explore several levels of the Science Center with EA volunteers. EA supplements the Science Center exhibits with homemade EA demonstrations. Such demos include a Van de Graaf generator, Elephant’s toothpaste and an Oobleck speaker. As students are toured through the various rooms, EA representatives explain to students how exhibits and demos work, where they come from, and how the exciting technologies they see are utilized in everyday life. The goal of STEM Night is to expose the invited students to the ways in which some very basic concepts can be used to create truly spectacular displays of science. All this is done to influence students to explore STEM courses in high school and eventually pursue a STEM career as a future leader of industry. We here at Engineering Ambassadors are proud to be nerds, and STEM Night is a great opportunity to share our own enthusiasm with the next generation of engineers.
STEM night was a great success due to the diverse population of students who attended. We had students come from seven different schools all over Connecticut. We had closer schools like East Hartford Public schools come and we had students from further schools like Suffield Middle School. In total, we had over 150 middle school students attend our event. We were very happy to host all 41 eighth grade students from Jumoke Academy and over 30 students from Two Rivers Middle School. With the help of over 60 UConn engineering students, we were able to immerse middle school students into the world of STEM. We were proud to affect this many students but we have no plans of stopping here. For our next STEM night we plan to host over 200 middle school students. Our goal is to promote STEM at a young age and our partnership with the CT Science Center allows for this to happen.
STEM Night also included a wide range of professionals. Professors, administrators, and staff from the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering, alongside professionals from OTIS Elevator Company, UTC Aerospace Systems, Eversource, and Pratt & Whitney came to network with our students and peers, making this a truly special night.