Hands-on science, technology, engineering and math have been the focus of a collaboration between Jamestown middle schools and Jamestown Community College (JCC) in a unique after school program called Project STEM ((Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Beginning in February, the program included six sessions that mixed all four STEM topics in an interactive environment: crime scene investigation, an egg drop challenge; math puzzles, Lego Robotics, Science of Baking and building telescopes.
“The partnership between JCC and Jamestown Schools has been a wonderful collaboration,” said Delana Rupp, assistant director, Continuing Education at JCC. “For the past three years, JCC’s Center for Continuing Education has been coordinating the afterschool STEM program where eighth grade students at Jefferson, Persell, and Washington Middle Schools participate. The goal of the program is to provide hands-on, interactive topics on different themes related to STEM to get youth excited about STEM, better integration of STEM concepts into the school curriculum, educate and expose students to career opportunities in the STEM field, and connect students to the JCC campus, faculty, and instructors. The feedback from the program is overwhelmingly positive as both parents and students talk about the value-added aspects of the program including diversity of topics, hands-on experience, meeting new people, and engagement.”
Jamestown Public School teachers, Lina Scoma, Matt Schrader and Matt Turecek, helped guide the students through the STEM sessions. Along with JCC’s faculty, community partners, like Vicki McGraw from Elegant Edibles, played an important role in the program exposing students to the ways STEM subjects can be incorporated in every part of their lives. A special thank you to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation who provided grant money for the program.