STEM Academy held at Langdon Area High School

The Langdon Area High School was a flurry of educational activity on Thursday, Feb. 2 as the school held a STEM Academy for grades 7 through 12.

Posted on 2/10/17

By Melissa Anderson

The academy brought professors from various fields from Valley City State University (VCSU) and University of North Dakota (UND) to broaden LAHS students understanding of science, technology engineering, and mathematics and how these fields are working together to create the future.

The day featured  six activities for the students to utilize what is referred to as the four C’s:  critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. The day began with an escape room scenario that allowed each grade to compete against each other. Each grade was given a set of clues that would lead them to the next clue until they were able to “escape” their classroom.

The other activities were Rube Goldberg machines, Spheros, GeoDome/Drones, Scratch video game, and LEGO EV3. The Rube Goldberg machine session featured the largest groups of students working together to create the machines of art. The session was headed by Dr. Gary Ketterling of VCSU.

Jamie Wirth, also of VCSU, headed the Spheros section of the STEM academy. The section had students not only creating obstacle courses for the Spheros but then working to program the Spheros to navigate each others courses.

The GeoDome/Drone section instructed by Tim Young of UND, showed students the ability to use NASA data to chart stars, view the galaxies, look a little more closely at planet Earth. The drone section was facilitated by Langdon instructors who were taught how to fly drones and utilized the iPads already in use at LAHS. The students were taught to fly the drones and then run them through an obstacle course.

Jordan Burshaw, a computer software engineering student at VSCU showed students how to code or program their own video game. The tutorial showed students the methodology behind the coding systems utilized in many every day applications on smart phones and computers.

The final activity for students was the LEGO EV3 Robotics  facilitated by Dr. Pete Gjovik of the VCSU Department of Technology instructed students on how they could program a smart car to drive and go through obstacles on its way to its destination.

Overall, the event proved success in not only giving students a fun educational experience but also learning about future careers that utilize the four C’s of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.