BU Student Selected for NASA Program
BISD hosted the second annual District STEM Night to highlight STEM-related activities, events and organizations. The West Brook High School gym was filled with families enjoying drones, virtual reality tools, math projects, robots, science experiments and more.
“By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field,” said Parkerson.
Each campus set up a booth with interactive games, as well as many business and community partners such as ExxonMobil, Lamar Institute of Technology and NASA. BASF sponsored the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Trailblazer, a mobile 40-foot STEM-museum, and Chick-fil-A donated 500 chicken sandwiches.
“STEM pervades every part of our lives,” said STEM Coordinator Marinette Parkerson. “Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our world. Engineering is the basic design of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do.”
“Thank you to the business and community partners who helped provide rich and engaging STEM opportunities, as well as Chick-fil-A and Jason’s Deli for providing refreshments,” said Parkerson.
This summer, six students and two teachers attended Rice University’s prestigious and unique camps hosted by The Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity. Made possible through a grant from partners ExxonMobil, they joined students and teachers from across Texas and beyond for a week of engaging STEM projects and communication skill practice.
“We had an amazing learning adventure at Rice,” said attendee and STEM Coordinator Marinette Parkerson. “My Student’s enjoyed all of the STEM activities and challenges.”
Campers experiment with hands-on STEM projects, like building miniature wind turbines out of household items including glue, cardstock and popsicle sticks. At the same time, students enhance their communication skills by learning how to simplify complicated STEM ideas via graphic drawings and an end-of-camp oral presentation – all while experiencing life on a college campus.
“This opportunity gave them the confidence boost to push them into STEM related careers as the get older,” said Parkerson. “The partnership also provides my students a learning experience that they will share with future classmates”
The professional development camp for teachers of all subjects and levels provides participants the tools to implement project-based learning in their classrooms. Teachers who complete the program earn Continuing Professional Education hours and learn tools to implement hands-on experiences in their classrooms.
“As an educator, it is my responsibility to expand my reach by exposing my students to what they can’t see for themselves,” said Parkerson. “I thank ExxonMobil and Rice for helping me expose my students to the wonderful possibilities of STEM education and careers.”