Written by Abi Ghiridharan
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math– or STEM– has been gaining momentum as a national interest. STEM has been at the center of debates concerning education, the job market, and even gender equality. The Obama administration invested millions of dollars to create an increase in one million STEM graduates by 2022. Even actor Ashton Kutcher serves as an advocate to make computer coding an institution within public schools.
But it isn’t just politicians and celebrities who are making a difference in advocating for this cause. It is also includes a large portion of the students at Center Grove High School who are currently making a difference with the introduction of STEM club.
“STEM is becoming an increasingly prominent area of study in the world, and we wanted Center Grove students to experience it along with interacting with other students,” said Sarah Chan, “The STEM club engages students and introduces people to the area of STEM.”
The founding members, Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan, approached Mrs. Wingler to sponsor the club and help with the clubs goals and activities.
“Michelle Moon and Sarah Chan came and asked me if I would support their club and be their sponsor,” said Mrs. Wingler. “I love those two girls, and they’re wonderful. We don’t have a club like this and we need a club like this, so I said yes. They started it and I just followed.”
After gaining sponsorship from Center Grove High School math teacher, Mrs. Wingler, Center Grove High School students Sarah Chan and Michelle Moon founded and launched the STEM club, which now hosts around 60 members.
“I gained interest due to the lack of clubs revolving around science, technology, engineering, and math,” says founding member, Michelle Moon ‘19. “These fields are beginning to develop as a major part of careers.”
The Center Grove High School STEM club takes initiatives to try to improve the futures of high school students. The organization creates hands-on activities that relate to the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math. It also hosts guests speakers during the meetings that talk about their careers in the field, job outlook, and the education needed in order to attain that career. In addition, the club also provides practice SAT problems and preparation.
“We are trying to get science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics and ideas out to people and where they can use them in the future,” said Wingler, “Each month we have a certain topic and we try to have one activity that deals with that topic. Then we try to have a speaker come in and the speaker is someone from the outside world that is involved with math and they tell us how they use math. This really helps students because they know what they want to maybe do when they leave high school. Then the speaker, such as a mathematician or an actuary, comes in and they can explain their job and the students can weed out what they want to do.”
In this sense, the career-related uncertainty that sometimes exists within the minds of high school students is quelled. Students are able to take a more hands-on approach to learning about careers. Rather than simply googling different jobs and clicking on websites, such as careers.org, students are able to interact with professionals and participate in various STEM related activities.
“My mother, Dr. Chan came in and told us about her high school and college education and how to choose what area of science you would want to pursue,” said Sarah Chan, “Then she answered any questions people had.”
The STEM club creates an open environment for students to learn not only about the STEM field but also about themselves and what interests them.
“Our goal is to expand our club and increase the number of members,” said Moon. “Rather than having students ask why they should join STEM, we would like for them to ask themselves why they shouldn’t join.”
Although the STEM club only started this semester, they have been rigorous in creating activities and planning for the future in order to develop and build the club. By forming innovative activities and planning for possible field trips, the club will be able to gain momentum in a short amount of time.