South Cobb High Students Attend STEM Symposium at Kennesaw State University

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South Cobb High School students were invited to attend the 2013 LSAMP STEM conference by Kennesaw State University on Friday, October 11 at the Hilton Head Marietta Hotel & Conference Center. Students were able to listen to keynote speaker Dr. Jimmy Davis, Jr., who spoke about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our everyday lives. His speech further delved into the importance of highlighting STEM education in order fill gaps in our new, developing industries.

Breakout sessions followed the keynote speech and SCHS students participated in the high school workshop, focused on engineering of underwater robots. This provided an environment for students to use problem-based learning in order solve a real-world problem. Students identified a problem, took inventory of actual equipment and supplies, and designed a prototype using equipment provided. This was a great opportunity for students to work together in collaborative groups while applying previous and new knowledge to real-world scenarios. Each individual person had to design their own robot and then present it to the rest of his or her group. Once all students presented, the group voted for the best most practical design to share with the entire workshop.

The conference fieldtrip concluded with a luncheon at which Dr. Cheryl Davenport Dozier, president of Savannah State University, spoke about the importance of STEM as it relates to our economy. Our students heard her speak about marketability in all areas and the importance of acquiring and practicing proper oral and writing skills in addition to STEM fields in order to be successful in any career. Dr. Dozier also spoke on the importance of being able to be critical thinkers and problem solvers rather than simply having “book knowledge.”

The Peach State LSAMP is a collaborative effort to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students statewide who complete undergraduate degrees in the STEM fields.

Student Reflections:

“I felt empowered to by the words of those who spoke. They pushed the message of innovation, self – expression, and the ideology that the true rock stars are not those in the entertainment industry but those who become doctors, scientists and engineers.” – Daniella Krakue, 12th Grade

“This conference reinforced and encouraged students like myself to continue studies in the STEM field because we are the future and the future is now.” – Omar Benjamin, 11th Grade

“We had the chance to design our own underwater robot called Sea Perch, which gave us the chance to be creative and let our imaginations run wild. We were also presented the opportunity to ask college representatives about any questions we might have had about their college. Overall, the fieldtrip was a great experience and I gained a lot of motivation and information from it.” – Jazmin Lucio, 10th Grade

submitted by Juan Mora, science teacher, South Cobb High School