The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Students represent Texas A&M at STEM Night

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The $8 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education will provide opportunities for third through fifth graders in Texas to explore STEM learning. 

Green Prairies Elementary School hosted a science, technology, engineering and math fair for its students Tuesday, Oct. 17 to get students excited about general science and learning.
Texas A&M students set up booths around the elementary school including the subjects of petroleum engineering, poultry science, entomology, biology and more.
Emily Bloom, petroleum engineering junior, is a member of A&M’s chapter of the Society for Petroleum Engineers. The organization attends several STEM nights in and out of College Station to educate students about the discipline. The students’ booth demonstrated permeability and porosity by pouring water over samples of marbles and sand.
“We go give presentations, just educating little kids on the oil and gas industry and energy and especially how it impacts our society positively instead of negatively,” Bloom said. “What we try to do is educate the kids on petroleum engineering because it is such a specific field, and not a lot of kids understand petroleum. That’s a big word. They hear petroleum and they get scared, but we try to break it down for them.”
Bloom said she was introduced to engineering when she was chosen for a program by Chevron in the eighth grade. The program involved a five year learning process, revolving around several types of engineering, including oil, gas and petroleum.
“I was one of the first people to graduate through it, so I just tell them what I learned from it,” Bloom said. “From there, I did Chevron camps which were inherently energy and oil and gas based, and I just found I was really interested in it, and I wanted to continue with it through my college career, and I’m studying it now.”
Students from the entomology department also made an appearance at the STEM fair with a display of native and non-native insects. Doctoral candidate Joanie King explained the types of critters in the display boxes to the elementary students. She said it’s important for children to attend these fairs, as well as their parents.
“I think it’s good for both the parent and the child,” King said. “The parents can see it early on that can encourage them and nurture that type behavior, being interested in science.”
Entomology is not a field that people think about when considering a possible career path, according to King.
“It’s good to get kids exposed at an early age so they can start thinking about it,” King said. “A lot of people aren’t exposed and they don’t know that it’s an option. ‘Oh I can study bugs when I grow up? That’s pretty cool,’ but there’s actually a lot of jobs in entomology.”
Darin Paine, a parent, said his daughters have attended the fair before. Paine said it’s an advantage having A&M students provide these experiences for them.
“I think anytime you have Aggie students that they can experience, they’re going to listen to more than their parents and get a different experience from maybe their teachers might present,” Paine said. “It’s really nice to get to see young people who are seeing and doing different things and how it relates to what they’ve learned in school and what they may experience for a career when they get older.”
The accessibility of A&M’s programs can increase opportunities for children in the local school system, according to Paine.
“You’ve got programs like 4-H, poultry science and entomology, whenever they come here and just show them the different things that they’ve learned and how it can relate to their education as they get older,” Paine said. “They take it all in, and that’s a great experience.”

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