Full steam ahead: Chippewa Falls educators promoting math, science at event
Mar 18, 2013 (The Leader-Telegram - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
CHIPPEWA FALLS -- Science and math can be cool -- and can provide jobs in the Chippewa Valley to people with skills in those fields.
That's the message Chippewa Falls High School teachers hope to send by organizing the district's first Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, or STEAM, event Tuesday.
Their effort is designed to encourage more children to become interested and involved in math and sciences.
"As a country, we are just short in those jobs," Chippewa Falls High School physics teacher Nick Gagnon said. "There is a push to get students into those fields."
Candy Jenke, chairwoman of the school's science department, said more than 30 businesses, from Extrusion Dies to TTM Technologies, and various colleges are expected to set up displays at the event. Some will have booths while others will conduct in-classroom presentations.
"Kids don't realize how tech-heavy this area is," Gagnon said.
The health care field will be represented at the event, as Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Sacred Heart Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital will present information.
"Come in, wander around, and see what you're interested in," Jenke said. "There are hundreds of thousands of careers that involve technology for (attendees) to choose from."
Members of the Chippewa Falls Police Department and SWAT team will show off some of the equipment they use. Wisconsin State Patrol officers also will attend.
"They'll be doing accident reconstructions in the hallway," Gagnon said.
The Bell Museum in Minneapolis will bring a giant, inflatable dome.
"It's like a portable planetarium," Gagnon said.
A demonstration using liquid nitrogen will be among the science-based exhibits at the event.
The lone outdoor activity will feature Gagnon firing off an air-powered rocket in the parking lot.
Chippewa Falls High School science teachers first heard about the STEAM program a few years ago and started seriously planning the event in October.
Vetter can be reached at 715-723-0303 or email@example.com.
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