Plum High School students, community members take part in STEAM Playground
Plum School District community members and high school students flew drones, printed 3-D objects and took part in other science projects as part of the school's second annual STEAM Playground.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The playground was May 25.
It was Plum's part in Remake Learning Days, a six-day extravaganza that featured more than 250 events throughout the Pittsburgh area.
“The day was a success with several hundred students, staff and community members participating throughout the day,” Principal Justin Stephans said. “The STEAM Playground has grown in number of participants and number of stations as the emphasis on STEAM learning at (the high school) continues.”
Some were able to print edible pancakes. Others virtually walked a plank out of a skyscraper, experienced World War II as a paratrooper and repaired the International Space Station while soaring 250 miles above the earth.
Participants also created light-up cards using circuits and batteries and experimented with the MegaMark robot on loan from Carnegie Mellon University.
Students taking AP computer science principles and STEAM studio helped people at each station. Senior Alec Robinson was among those with the drones.
“It wasn't like anything I've done in any of my classes,” he said. “I wanted to learn more about it and found it really interesting. I also got to play with the Hummingbird Robots and make LEDs light up by programming them. The STEAM Playground was a lot of fun and allowed me to play with tech I otherwise wouldn't get to.”
Teacher Stephanie Reilly was among the staffers who organized the event.
“As technology intersects all career fields, access to and experience with STEAM equipment and classes gives Plum students the confidence and competence they need to see themselves in technology-related fields,” she said. “Our job as educators is to prepare our students for the future so they understand and control the technology, not to send them unprepared to a future where their job is outsourced by some technology that does not yet even exist.”
The school received numerous grants throughout the year to purchase new STEAM equipment.
Administrators hope to build on the playground's success for next year's science and technology activities.