Paving a New Path for Future Students
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Apple Valley has STEMmed out from its tradition of arts, academics, and athletics and into a whole new field.
Over the past couple of years, the STEM program has become a large part of what makes Apple Valley the institution that it is. With the creation of the Fab Lab—short for Fabrication Lab—in 2014 and advances such as the new Multimedia Maker Space and the integration of iPads in the classroom this year, AVHS has become a space for innovation.
Monday night, students and their parents from elementary schools around the district came together to experience a night of science, technology, engineering, and math. With activities spanning from working with robots to learning CPR to team building exercises, the STEM Pathway Night showcased the variety of activities and classes in which students interested in these fields could get involved.
Aimen Patel, a fifth grader at Cedar Park Elementary School, talked about her favorite activity, saying, “Over there, you get to pick a challenge and you make the mechanism to fix the challenge. So, I tried to make something that could float in the air and that’s the most fun because I like engineering and you get to design.”
Other students and families shared her enthusiasm during the night as they watched chemistry demonstrations, met STEM leaders in the community, and built their own creations.
STEM Coordinator Jim Lynch emphasized the importance of introducing this program to students at a young age. “This is when kids make their decisions, especially girls, based on all of the research,” Lynch said. “If you wait until middle school or high school it’s too late.”
The STEM Pathway Night allowed elementary students and their families to explore the different facets of Apple Valley’s program. A few of the stations featured at the event included The Iron Maidens, rocket building, and of course, everyone’s favorite, The Talon.
While this program has only started in recent years, it has had a tremendous impact on the student body. Not only has it encouraged more people to pursue STEM in the future, but it has also given students experience right now. Ayanle Issak, a sophomore currently enrolled in STEM courses, said, “[This program is] really important in our community because it gives us another opportunity to get into college courses and have that college experience.”
It is safe to say that STEM Pathway Night was a success that Apple Valley can look forward to hosting over and over again in the years to come, showcasing all that our school has to offer. Apple Valley High School has become about more than just Triple-A—it has become a proud wearer of the STEM badge.