2018 Bezos Scholar Hoang Le and educator Kevin Verano engaged incoming freshman in Harrisburg, PA in a youth STEAM design challenge to build excitement and community around STEAM education and career pathways.
Harrisburg STEAM Fest was a one day celebration of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM) that showcased student projects, demonstrations, and lectures for Harrisburg residents. Most elementary and secondary school students lack the skill to perform well in STEAM classes and feel discouraged from pursuing STEAM projects and careers. Hoang and educator Kevin worked to increase awareness about the prevalence of STEAM in all vocations to develop skills and solve problems in their classes and community. They also helped students develop relationships with professionals and discover the local educational resources around Central Pennsylvania.
The common STEAM challenge among participants was earthquakes. Middle school participants created structures that could withstand earthquake motion. This activity combined all aspects science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and helped students to collaborate on hands-on work, similar to high school classroom projects.