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Calcasieu Parish Schools host first STEAM night

Students showcase skills in science, technology, engineering, arts and math
Published: Nov. 25, 2019 at 4:14 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Families at Calcasieu Parish schools were in for an educational treat as students showcased what they’ve learned using science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

The “STEAM” program includes the five subjects to foster a different learning environment for children.

From robots to an inflatable dome that takes people virtually to outer space, science and technology packed the gymnasium at Washington Marion High School.

Nine-year-old Carman Ledoux was one of many students who stood by to represent her school.

“My favorite was making ghosts fly,” Ledoux said with a disclaimer that they weren’t real ghosts. “We mixed water, corn starch and two pieces of Alka-Seltzer and we shook it up.”

The result?

“It flew and kind of made an explosion,” Ledoux said. “It was kind of like, how did it mix, and why did it mix like that?”

Curiosity couldn’t be contained in classrooms for Dr. Marcus Jackson, who organized the event.

“The students need to see the science, they need to see the technology, they need to feel it,” said Jackson, zone director for Calcasieu Parish Board Schools. “It’s more than just standards inside of the classroom - our students need to take what they’re learning in the classroom and actually connect it.”

With help from Science Machine Michael Green, students saw the fun in education. Green started the night with science experiments that filled the room with laughter.

“If you can create a learning environment that’s fun and exciting, learning just becomes a by-product of the environment,” Green said. “I love it when they come up and tell me they want to be scientists, too.”

When learning gets tough, especially in robotics, teacher Daren Dotson said students don’t give up at Ray D. Molo Middle Magnet School

“Once they go to a competition, once they get the initial robot design together, oh man they’re in here every day,” Dotson said. “They’re asking to come in their enrichment hours, their P.E. hours.”

Adults who attended the event learned something valuable as well.

Malcom Patterson enjoys the night with his son, Liam, 4, at a STEAM event hosted by the...
Malcom Patterson enjoys the night with his son, Liam, 4, at a STEAM event hosted by the Calcasieu Parish School Board.(KPLC)

Malcom Patterson, who had an interest in his 4-year-old son’s fascination with the solar system, said it was a great experience.

“For him [Liam] to be able to come and see all of this, especially the planetarium dome, and see the science guy do all these different tricks, it was super cool,” Patterson said. “If it’s education and the kid shows an interest to it, dive in - dive in cause you never know where that’s gonna take you.”

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