Scouts STEM day brings curious minds together

by Chris Studor

Spreading the word that “all are welcome” Cub Scout troop 3520 hosted a STEM day on April 15 in Hinckley township’s former fire station bay area.

Examining fossils and other items from nature are Vara and Ashar Bari.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Day offered young visitors a variety of experiment stations each addressing a different science topic.

At one station, participants had a chance to look at fossils and other natural items someone could find simply by taking a walk in Hinckley. At another station, Den Mother Haley Schuster had students fold paper into the shape of flowers and then place them in a bowl of water to demonstrate that water would cause the paper to expand.

Yet another table was loaded with Legos, and one of the more popular stops was the mini rocket-making table. As part of that activity, participants placed an Alka Seltzer tablet in water in clear photo film containers, shook the containers and placed them on the sidewalk. Within moments, the pressure lifted the tops right off into the sky.

“This is really cool,” said Andrew Merrick a member of Troop 3520. “I like learning new things in science. I would say my favorite thing overall is the Pinewood Derby.”

Henrick Felton was drawn to the Lego table commenting that he appreciates the building blocks because they “give you a chance to create your own designs.”

One of three young ladies in Scout Troop 3520, McKenna Felton said she “always felt welcome to the troop and no one treats me any differently because [she’s] a girl.”

“My brother told me how much fun it was,” she said. “The members were making paper airplanes and doing all kinds of projects I was interested in. It’s a wonderful pack and a fun environment to be in. This is my first year and I enjoy all of it.”

Making their own Lego designs are; Grant Minch, Elliot Minch and Hendrick Felton.

Schuster said this was the first time the cub scouts were holding a STEM Day.

“Our purpose is to spread the word that all are welcome and we are especially trying to recruit girls into the troop who might be a bit hesitant,” said Schuster.

Cub Committee Chair Mike Minch, who has a son and a daughter in the troop, said he feels being a Scout “teaches scouts things they don’t learn in a classroom.”

“Our Scouts will learn first aide, experience day camp and go on hikes,” said Minch. “I can proudly say that my son can cook a complete meal over an open fire and it’s good.”

In addition to an afternoon of experimenting and learning, STEM Day also included free pizza for all who participated. ∞

FEATURED PHOTO: Making folder paper flowers which expanded in water were: McKenna Felton, Isabella Klettlinger and Abigail Sullivan. Photos by Chris Studor