Warming up young minds: High school students help district STEAM Night

The+District+made+flyers+to+promote+STEAM+Night.+The+event+is+a+popular+one%2C+filling+to+sign+up+capacity+in+just+a+few+days.

Photo by Billy Heisler

The District made flyers to promote STEAM Night. The event is a popular one, filling to sign up capacity in just a few days.

Brianne Saab, secretary

District 95 wants to excite students and families about science, technology, engineering, art, and math with its very first STEAM Night.

“The mission of STEAM Night is to inspire families through STEAM to question, explore, innovate, and create together,” Billy Heisler, Middle School North science teacher and STEAM Night co-chair, said.

STEAM Night will take place on May 9, from 6 to 8pm at Middle School North. The activities are for families of students from 4 to 8th grade, and will feature demonstrations, panels, and more than twenty hands-on STEAM activities. Many high school students will be involved to help with the night, including Interact club, the Robotics club, and National Honor Society.

“I volunteered during the high school STEAM Day and I really enjoyed a lot of the information I learned and the different people I talked to, so I figured why not do it again and help the middle schoolers?” Alex Miller, senior NHS chair, said. “I’m looking forward to learning more and getting to work with professionals in different fields and helping kids learn and getting them passionate about different things.”

Heisler hopes that high school students like Miller will inspire the younger generation to pursue STEAM.

“We’re super excited to have the high school as core part of STEAM night, it wouldn’t be close to what is without them. The Robotics team will be showcasing their work, and more than just their robot, they’re showcasing qualities that have made them successful,” Heisler said. “We’re hoping to excite students about robotics, but more importantly, we want them to see role models, see themselves in a few years, the kind of people they can be.”

It is important for students to see a STEAM future with them in it, according to Heisler.

“We also want to teach our students to walk away with an idea of what they need to do, for example, to be on the Bearbotics team,” he said. “Good STEAM learning starts early, so hopefully they’ll get an idea of some things they can do to be successful in the STEAM field.”

Beyond just high school students, there will be industry professionals from around the community to give presentations to students and families.

“One of the focuses of STEAM night is to bring in community resources to connect students with the real world and be authentic,” Heisler said. “There are a couple moderated panels. One is community members in the District 95 community who have careers in STEAM;, they’re going to talk about what inspired the and what they do, and advice for younger students about pursuing STEAM careers. The second panel is Women in STEAM. These panels are to inspire and empower young people to pursue careers that are meaningful and rigorous to make a difference in the real world.”

Through interactive and interesting experiments, STEAM Night aims to make a lasting impact on students.

“STEAM Night is about more than just fun activities,” Heisler said. “It’s about helping students and families envision a future for themselves in which they can really make a difference through STEAM.”