Skelly STEM Night
QPSE Cares is a group dedicated to improving the communities where we live and operate. One of the community programs we support is Partners in Education (PIE), a local non-profit organization that focuses on aiding Tulsa Public Schools with their everyday needs. This includes support by providing Tulsa Public Schools with financial and volunteering efforts. Skelly Upper Elementary is one of the three local schools that QPSE sponsors through PIE, and it is conveniently located just around the corner from QPSE’s headquarters.
On November 13, 2018, Skelly Elementary reached out to us personally asking if we could send over engineering volunteers to help in their first ever Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Night where students and families alike can come in, have snacks, and participate in fun, challenging, and exciting STEM-related activities in a “non-formal environment.” Five QPSE engineers volunteered for the event and assisted with several activities: Bridge Building, Catapult Building, Art Bot, Marble Maze, Science Experiments using bath bombs, and even computer coding!
It was reported that the Bridge Building activity seemed to have the highest turnout from the students – maybe because candy was involved! Students and volunteers were given supplies, such as tongue depressors, ten pipe cleaners, and as many cotton swabs it took to span a “river” of 4-6 inches that must suspend over a 1-inch surface in order to hold as many candy pumpkins as possible.
The general takeaway of the event was delight in helping children learn to think outside the box and their comfort zones in order to make something work in the name of Science. It’s always a positive experience working with children who are actively engaging themselves in challenging activities, learning, and trying new things. It was a positive and fun night, and QPSE can’t wait to be invited to more activities like this in the near future.