Oxon Hill STEM Night
POSTED ON: Thursday, January 26, 2017 8:00 AM by MIDN 2/C Jennifer Hedgecoth
On January 26, 2017, the U.S. Naval Academy STEM Center for Education and Outreach traveled to Oxon Hill Middle School in Fort Washington, MD with two STEM staff members, Jennifer Da Rosa and Rachel Fees, along with eleven midshipmen: 2/C Deja Baker, Jennifer Hedgecoth, Mary Campbell, Svetla Walsh, Lizzie Lee, Joshua Hanna, and 3/C Harold Mantilla, Yogaish Khastgir, Maddie Reynolds, Shannon McAllister, and Colton Tingler.
The midshipmen facilitated six different STEM modules for the students to participate in at the school’s 3rd annual Family STEM night. Each module focused on a different field of science while incorporating aspects of engineering, engaging the excited students of Oxon Hill Middle School and their parents in project-based learning. The students were challenged to solve logic puzzles, build and launch rockets, decrypt coded messages and program robots, build paper boats, and explore the chemistry of water.
Oxon Hill Middle School brought in over 50 students and their families, creating an opportunity to reinforce lessons the students have learned in class by participating in hands-on activities on a Thursday evening surrounded by friends. This night was rewarding for the students and parents, but also for the midshipmen who traveled to Oxon Hill. “Seeing a young student light up when they solve a problem they have been working on for a while is so rewarding to see.
The students were all so persistent and eager to learn. It was incredible to see how their curiosity and inquisitiveness allowed them to ask questions and learn from one another. It makes me excited to see where they take their futures,” one midshipman said. The OHMS faculty and staff are certainly working to develop a “growth mindset” in the students of Oxon Hill, leading to their understanding that with consistent effort and persistence, they can learn and achieve great things, developing them both as individuals and students.
Ava Martin, event organizer and OHMS STEM Department Chairperson, said, "The students and parents had an amazing time… We are so appreciative of your commitment to us as we try to expose them to STEM.” Many of these students and teachers will be attending various STEM events held by the U.S. Naval Academy STEM Center in the coming months.