STEM Conference at CWC May 17-18

By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

The future holds so much for so many, but in a successful future, one must have skills and those skills encompass at least one of the following. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM. The STEM conferences for the region will be held on May 17th and 18th at Central Wyoming College. The two days will include a “women in STEM” and a “Men in STEM” day. 

Each day will include sessions that are sure to captivate and motivate the students’ minds. 

When we talk about STEM skills, we’re talking about the individual skills needed to do science, mathematics, and engineering, and those needed to use technology effectively.

For example, in science you learn ways to increase or reduce friction on a surface to make objects moving across that surface move faster or slower. You use technology to simulate experiments that might involve things that are too large or too small to see easily, or that are too dangerous to do in a classroom. Engineering principles are used when you design, build, and test models, like the ones needed to understand how energy is transferred. Finally, you use math skills to analyze and draw conclusions from experiments.

There is a group of people who are determined to connect students from Wyoming to the basic principles of STEM and have designed a two day program to introduce the concepts and by allowing the students to choose their sessions, can almost guarantee a positive result. 

Peggy Peterson and Geri Swanson are the two who are committed to this program and have been for years. Both of these women of science are eager to engage each and every student who has signed up for the class, helping them to decide what, if any of the topics discussed will inspire them to pursue the subject further. This is not an effort to lock a student into a particular career field, but to open the career fields to them for a short time in the hopes that they will embrace the concept or idea. 

These initial classes are designed to be short, high interest subjects that have teachers who are considered experts in their field. With that combination, it is almost a certainty that a connection will be made and perhaps the student will be able to navigate the initial steps along with the support of a trained professional educator who is willing to assist with further endeavors.  

Contained in the session on May 17th, are Solving crimes, Patient Management-keeping everyone safe, Soil health and why it’s important to me, First Aid for your trail buddy, DNA extraction from strawberries, Farrier 101(Horseshoeing) Where does our oil come from, Exploring exoskeletons, Fractal Dimension, Exploring the world of healthcare and Journeyman Lineman.

The offerings will be similar for the 18th when the men will be there to learn. The subjects will include… Measurement of time in astronomy, Look into my Eyes, Soil health and why it’s important to me, Born to run, Patient Management-keeping everyone safe, Farrier 101 (Horseshoeing) Radio Frequencies Fundamentals, Exploring exoskeletons, Fractal Dimensions, Intro to dentistry and Journeyman Lineman.  

The days will be full of activities to stimulate the hands and the minds while the staff guide and thought process. Food will be served and the activities will be fun. 

Housed on one of the most beautiful campuses in Wyoming, the experience is sure to inspire. Each child is going to come away with an idea… What that idea will be is anyone’s guess, but it might be the beginning of the rest of his or her life. 

These ladies are convinced that impact is assured. They have seen and experienced the changes themselves.