Second Annual “Fall in Love With STEM” Outreach Event a Success

On Saturday, February 10th, GRCC hosted the second annual “Fall in Love with STEM” event, and 40 middle-school aged students attended over the course of the afternoon. This free event is part of a series of events co-organized by the Association of Women in Science West Michigan Chapter; Grand Valley and Hope College each lead their own events this month. Assistant Professor Lauren Woolsey from the Physical Science Department led the organizational effort for the event.

The GRCC site had an “Exploration Station” format that sets it apart from the other events in the series. Faculty and students from GRCC as well as members of Van Andel Institute and Michigan State organized activities that spanned across the STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

This event would not have been possible without the assistance of members of the Van Andel Institute, who were essential to running the logistics side of things during the event, including event registration, the Ask-A-Scientist station, and key assistance throughout the day at the stations that needed them most. Thank you to Patty Farrell-Cole, Kelly Foy, Chelsea Newton, Erica Siebrasse, and Nicole Vander Schaaf for your time and energy!

In the Physical Sciences Department, Lauren Woolsey led a station on the sizes and scales of the solar system; Tari Mattox designed a station on paleontology and fossil identification, and Sean McKillop co-led a station on engineering and robotics with MSU professor Alison Bernstein.

This was an interdepartmental effort, and from the mathematics department, GRCC Honors student Rachel Walker ran the Mathematical Magic and Mysteries station. Professor Leigh Kleinert in the Biological Sciences department organized a station called “Who Stole the iPod?” that was run primarily by the following GRCC students in the service learning program: Kate Gyurnek, Jaubre Quinones, Jasmine Wright, Lejla Husic, Nicole Sowa, Rogelio Linares, and Adriyanna Jones. Everyone involved in this successful day of science are already looking forward to next year’s event!

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