Everything from how to build a solar cell to forensic science was on the itinerary for a great group of Red Bird Christian School students attending the STEM-H (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – Health) Expo held at Eastern Kentucky University May 8th. The 15 students left after breakfast Friday to ride up to the Richmond, KY campus. In the beginning, some students were not sure the trip would be worth the long ride of 3 hours that day.
The mood quickly changed when we went through registration. After dressing for the event in matching shirts and lanyards, schedules were handed out to each student. You could tell the excitement was starting to build. While we completed the registration process the opportunity for mingling with professors and to check out experiments was too tempting for some. You could tell they did not want to be redirected.
The first seminar consisted of learning about the groundbreaking work being researched by graduate students in the Science Department’s new building. The students were blown away by the complex nature of the alternative fuel research being conducted by EKU students.
Experimentation with solar cells in one of the new labs was next on the agenda. Not only did each group complete the experiment easily, the students began working to expand the scope of the experiment and delve into the technology behind the solar cells. They asked intelligent questions and were encouraged by the professor to explore the lab with its state of the art equipment. The group was reluctant to leave. Even Mr. Vaughn, RBCS Science Teacher, and Mrs. Wilder, RBCS Guidance Counselor, were busy absorbing all the information they could to take back to Red Bird.
We arrived a few minutes late to the last class before lunch. Little did the students know that this would be favored by a majority of students! The Science of Forensics really sparked the imagination of the group. Armed with a ruler, protractor, string, magnifying glass, and a pencil, the groups went to work figuring out the science behind blood spatter analysis. One junior student exclaimed, ‘I can’t believe there is a practical everyday application for geometry!”
The entire group had a great experience exploring fields of study and college life in general. Students discussed the pros and cons of careers and colleges while driving back to Red Bird. Mr. Vaughn remarked that the trip was the ‘best one thing the students had participated in all year’.