NPHS students participate in Walton Farm STEM night

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Walton Farm Elementary School hosted its annual STEM Night on March 28th which included presentations by the 6th graders as well as the North Penn High School Chemistry Club and the North Penn and North Montco Technical Center Robotics Team, the Gearaffes. It was a night full of lights glimmering in the kids’ eyes as they looked at each presentation with ooos and ahhs and tons of curiosity.

STEM Night is an opportunity for students to show off all of their hard work and to see all of their peers’s science projects. Walton Farm Elementary 6th grade teacher Kim Blauvelt has guided her students along the way until the long awaited night and was proud to see all of her students’ hard work pay off.

“Students have been working on their science projects for 8 weeks. They had to start with finding a testable question and one that had an independent and dependent variable, but I stressed that it had to be something that they really liked and something that they were interested in,” mentioned Blauvelt.

Prior to the event, parents, teachers, and the high school presenters came to prepare the night. Most of the kids who arrived early were running around eager to take a peek at what the high schoolers were setting up. They rushed to the windows asking each other “what is that?” and recalling what they remembered from the last time they came to this event.

From the moment they heard the clicking sounds of the thermite balls, the kids ran to the Chemistry Club table and began leaning on the edge trying to get a closer look at the assorted experiments the club had to offer. The kids were shouting questions and answers to the Chemistry Club members and even one said “just watch, these are professionals.” The experiments included elephant toothpaste, spray chemicals, lycopodium powder, and balloons. As soon as the first presentation was over, they were ready to see it all over again.

“The best part about being in this event is seeing the children’s reactions and having them ask questions,” said North Penn High School Chemistry Club president Eric Sarbacker.

Across the chemistry table were all the students’ projects. The night was finally the time they could show off all of their hard work. Not to mention, the event was also inclusive for all 6th graders so everyone had the opportunity to share the same experience.

“We have all of [the 6th graders] participate. We even have our students that are visually impaired. We just did [an experiment] where there were tactile projects where [a student is] doing how different sponges absorb water so he could feel it. We definitely adapt to all different names,” said Blauvelt.

The Gearaffes brought along their robot for the kids to play with and they loved it so much they asked to go around a second or third time with the ball. It was as if they never got bored of it.

“My favorite part was seeing how excited the kids got to be able to participate in our demonstrations, or just science in general. It was nice to see that they’re still interested in things and curious. And they would ask questions about robotics and the robot as a whole,” North Penn and North Montco Technical Center Robotics Team member Dani Staber mentioned.

The night was a complete success and it was amazing to see how accomplished the kids were in all their hard work. As for Blauvelt, she hopes that her students will cherish this experience so that one day they could become scientists.

“My favorite part about this event is seeing the kids standing by their boards at Science Night so proud to talk to anyone and everyone that is interested in their topic. I just really love to see them shine and they’re so proud of themselves that they become science experts and they feel so excited about what they’ve learned and the fact that they’ve taken ownership of it,” Blauvelt commented.

 

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