Kindergarteners Addilynn Jones, Muhammad Brown, and Sarah Vliet, compete at the recent STEM Expo held at Ball Ground Elementary School.
By Larry Cavender
Before the conclusion of the 2014 - 2015 academic school year, Ball Ground Elementary School, or STEM Academy, capped the year with two big events that highlighted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The first event was Ball Ground's third annual STEM Expo which was held on May 6th followed by the celebration of the Georgia State STEM Day the following Friday.
The school invited parents to visit during the STEM Expo and they got a chance to observe many school projects that had been completed during school hours by the students. Many of the student projects coincided with the state fair theme including a student engineered Skee - Ball game, a basketball shooting hoops game, and many other midway inspired venues. The students, as well as the parents, were able to try out their skills on the midway.
Students also participated in a number of contests that highlighted their engineering skills including the erection of towers constructed of a number of everyday objects including paper and playing cards. Students were divided into groups and competed to see who could build the tallest tower.
Keith Ingram, principal of the Ball Ground STEM Academy estimated that attendance was well over 1,000 for the evening.
Two days later, in conjunction with the Georgia State STEM Day observation, students were treated to a number of guests who were invited to speak to the students in a variety of STEM related demonstrations.
Among those demonstrators was a technologist from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta who passed around to those gathered at the assembly some objects which had been pretreated with a substance that could only be seen when subjected to a black light. Some students were told to wash their hands following the demonstration. Then all the students were shown how easily bacteria could be passed from one to another when the technologist illuminated the students' hands under the black light. Those students who had washed their hands could also see just how efficient their handwashing techniques were.
Other presenters included a drone pilot who demonstrated the operation of a drone, a representative of Heritage Plumbing in Ball Ground who showed the students how to connect pipes, and a scientist from Reinhardt University who presented a demonstration which included snakes much to the delight of many of the students.