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Metro Tech Brings Middle Schoolers to Campus for Early Career Exploration in STEAM

Metro Tech Brings Middle Schoolers to Campus for Early Career Exploration in STEAM

More than 50 middle school students from around Oklahoma City spent their week at Metro Technology Centers for the 2023 Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM) Camp. The camp offered four days of unique hands-on learning activities such as computer coding, wound bandaging, architectural design, frog dissection and 3D printing at the STEM Academy located on Metro Tech’s Springlake Campus, 1901 Springlake Drive.

Campers rotated between five classes led and instructed by current Metro Tech STEM Academy teachers and students. Classes such as “Medical Marvels,” “Engineering Expeditions,” “Robotics and Coding,” “Sketch and Design” and “Body Systems,” were designed to give the participants an example of STEAM fields and career pathways they can continue to explore in high school.

“Our goal was to help them make a connection that might inspire them to study one of these subjects in the future,” Tori Wolohon, Metro Tech Pre-Nursing Teacher said.

Wolohon’s class gave the students an introduction to healthcare and taught them subjects like CPR basics, first-aid, how to check vital signs and infection control.

“Engineering Expeditions” led by Pre-Engineering Teacher Jake Thomas emphasized problem solving, intuition and predictability. The students made their own 3D printed key chains, learned aerospace fundamentals and construction and shot off bottle rockets.

Computer Science Teacher Tiffani Veal led the “Robotics and Coding” class. Fifth through seventh grade students learned about the basics of robotics while eighth and ninth grade students explored coding by using graphing calculators and TI-Innovator Hubs and connecting them to a rover.

At “Sketch and Design” with Lucinda Jones, STEM Academy Technical Assistant, students explored the basics of architecture and design. By the end of the week, each student went home with their very own miniature 3D model home.

On the first day of the “Body Systems” class led by Biomedical Sciences Teacher Chelsea Herndon-Hance, the students learned anatomical language by making clay dolls and preforming “surgery” on them.  In the following days, the students were taught microscope and cell basics, used more clay to create anatomically accurate hearts, and dissected frogs to learn about body systems.

Funding for the camp was made possible through a grant awarded to the STEM Academy from the AT&T Foundation.

Brian Leaver, STEM Academy Site Director said that not only did the camp provide metro-area students with an introduction to STEAM sciences, it also served as recruitment outreach for Metro Tech.

“It’s important that students who are at this age start getting a better grasp of what they like and don’t like when it comes to areas of study,” Leaver said. “These are subjects we offer here at Metro Tech, and it’s important for us to let students in the Oklahoma City area know that they have us as an option once they are in high school and after graduation.”

One of the largest and most diverse technology centers in Oklahoma, Metro Tech has four campuses offering short-term, career and customized business training options. Campuses are located in South Oklahoma. City, Northeast Oklahoma City, Downtown Oklahoma City and the Will Rogers Airport.