Photo courtesy of School of Education
“This is our first year doing the STEM Expo,” said Lynda Williams, a member of the Board of Directors. “It was our desire to put together an event that would bring community members, alumni, faculty, university students and K-12 students together in a collaborative setting to explore STEM ideas together.”
The UVU Grande Ballroom was filled with approximately 800 visitors to participate in the STEM Expo. The expo hosted 23 booths headed by institutions such as The Clark Planetarium, Thanksgiving Point and The Leonardo Museum. In addition, UVU students participating in a Service Learning project ran 20 of the booths, where they led hands-on activities using STEM skills.
“It was a smashing success. The community seemed hungry for this type of event, and participants were very positive in their feedback,” said Williams.
The STEM Expo teamed up with the Maker Movement to show participants the application of skills in science, technology, engineering and math in daily life. The Maker Movement highlights the importance of creativity in the production of anything from costumes and design to computer programs and robotics.
“We wanted to reach out to not only people that already think of themselves as a part of STEM, but also to those who may not have previously realized they had STEM skills and interests,” said Williams. “Using the Maker Movement seemed like a good vehicle for showing that we all use STEM skills in our everyday experience.”
Not only did the STEM Expo give Utah Valley public school students an opportunity to learn about skills in science and technology, but it also provided an opportunity for UVU students and local teachers to better acquaint themselves with how to teach STEM concepts.
“I think it is great to get kids involved in this at an early age,” said Matthew Graham, a history education major at UVU. “[Those] skills are really valuable in today’s world, and the more people we can get fired up about it, the better. I wish there was a STEM Expo when I was in elementary school.”
Williams expects to organize another STEM Expo at UVU and hopes the turnout will be even higher. She is excited to see what other STEM and Maker activities she can bring to the public for free.