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Girard students find solutions

STEM Night opens high school for fun, learning

Staff photos / Bob Coupland John Keaton, a junior at Girard High School, shows Madyson McMaster, 10, a student at Girard Intermediate School, one of the drones used in science and engineering classes during the STEM Night on Wednesday at Girard High School gymnasium. Children in grades kindergarten to 12th participated in various science, engineering, math and technology activities.

GIRARD — A “crime scene” set up in the middle of the Girard High School gym caught everyone’s attention, but the various activities to help solve the “crime” made the situation fun for students and their parents.

A districtwide Title I kindergarten to 12th grade STEM Night took place Wednesday in the gymnasium, allowing for hands-on-learning and fun for students and their families.

Girard Junior High Principal Jennifer Santangelo said teachers, students and organizations contributed various STEM experiments and projects.

“This allows for complete hands-on learning as children travel around the gym and try different projects where they can experience science, technology, engineering and math,” Santangelo said,

She said federal Title 1 funding covered costs for the family engagement event.

“We have done this before but because of COVID, it had to be virtual in past years,” she said.

Santangelo said high school students served as the presenters — showing their STEM skills.

“We hope the students really gain a knowledge of what is out there, and in the Girard City Schools. They can see the robotics team and what they do and take part in that when they get older. The hands-on activities show what they will learn when they are at the high school,” she said.

Each family left with a hands-on learning kit.

Students in the biomedical class set up a scenario with a “body” on the gym floor that was taped off by crime scene tape.

Students could look through microscopes and other equipment to help solve the crime.

Marina Cella and Olivia Coman, both juniors, said they can see the younger children taking part in the hands-on learning.

“We never did anything like this when we were their age. They like to have interactive things to do in science. I find this very interesting myself,” Coman said.

“Science can be made to be interesting. We have a crime scene, and children have to help find out which one of the suspects is the killer. This is something we learn to solve and they can learn to also enjoy solving a crime,” Cella said.

Chris Keaton, a senior on the FIRST Robotics team, said he wants to help influence younger children to try something new and one day join the robotics team.

“My teammates will demonstrate how the robot works and what it does. We also have a display showing how the team has done over the years,” Keaton said.

Mike Vinopal, a sixth-grader, was at the event with his father, Joe Vinopal.

“This is my first time ever being at a STEM night so I am not sure what to expect. I will walk around and check things out,” Mike said.

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