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STEM Saturdays in Wilmore

JCTC biomedical science students help teach monthly science class last week

By Brittany Fuller
Brittany.fuller@jessaminejournal.com
Once a month, The Family Center in Wilmore holds STEM Saturdays where, in the past, residents have learned about robots and the work they do at The Bluegrass Army Depot, become rock detectives with local geologist Mark Reinhardt or experience the Newport Aquarium.
Last Saturday featured the biomedical science students of the local Jessamine Career and Technology Center who were all hands-on deck for the November “Health and Human Body” class offered by the center.
STEM Saturdays are held from 10 a.m. to noon. Those who wish to participate should arrive before 11 a.m. the day of the event to experience everything it has to offer as it takes an hour to work through all stations. The event is geared towards educational standards for kids aged 5 to 15 years old. There is a donation of $5 per family, however for “Friends of the Family Center,” the event is free.
“We are very excited about working with The Family Center and their STEM program,” Adam Lowe, biomedical science teacher at JCTC said. “Personally, I am proud that there is an organization like The Family Center that is creating opportunities for children to get to explore STEM programs.”
By helping teach the class, Lowe said he is hopeful to show students and families just what biomedical science is and why it is important.
“(At JCTC) students work with the same equipment and tools to perform investigations done by lab professionals,” Lowe said. “Our Biomedical students step into the roles of professionals by investigating topics such as human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, public health and much more.”
Last Saturday, stations were set up at The Family Center in Wilmore for those in attendance which included: building a model of their own DNA, cow heart dissection and coloring guide, and measuring their grip strength using a hand dynomometer which will digitally record and display their muscle›s performance on a chromebook.
“Events like this are important for children to be able to explore the possibilities and opportunities available in the growing areas of STEM,” Lowe said. “Children begin to develop their interests at an early age based on what they see as interesting or accessible for them.”
Lowe said the main issue for STEM is lack of access in communities. STEM Saturdays offered at The Family Center presents an opportunity for children to explore science in a fun way, Lowe said.
“STEM Saturday is our longest running program and one of the backbones of our mission when we promised Central Kentuckians ‘we’re making time for your family,’” The Family Center owner Tara Hall said. “Daddies and Grandpas love STEM Saturdays because they are hands-on edu-fun. Our goal with this program is to encourage an interest in STEM that goes beyond classroom and gets in the minds and hearts of the whole community.”
Lowe said, “This is the first event like this that we have taken part in, but we are looking forward to future collaborations with The Family Center in Wilmore and other organizations in our community.”