By Jenny Gregory
CLEVELAND – This past week, Truett McConnell University (TMU) hosted its second STEM Day (science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics) for prospective students from surrounding school districts. The event included hands-on activities and individual demonstrations in an effort to promote STEM-related fields and TMU science facilities and opportunities to future college students.
“Hands-on learning is vital to the recruitment process of today’s prospective students,” said Bryan Wisdom, TMU director of admissions. “They have a strong desire for a more pragmatic and interactive education that equips them with the skills they need wherever God calls them.”
STEM Day provides a two-fold experience for those in attendance. First, participants experience the opportunities available to STEM majors at TMU. “We do a lot of really cool stuff in our academic programs every day; it is very nice to share that excitement with STEM Day students,” said Dr. Robert Bowen, associate professor of physiology and dean of the Pilgram Marpeck School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Second, participants are challenged beyond the classroom and textbooks as they interact with unique scientific principles from several different STEM disciplines.
Each participant rotated through three learning stations led by the faculty of the School of STEM. The first station included an exploration of microbiology, giving students insight into the interesting and intricate world of bacteria. The second station was dedicated to an exploration of chemistry and illustrated chemical reactions and the principles behind the demonstrations. The last station was dedicated to an exploration of physiology and highlighted the unique interaction between the nervous system and skeletal muscle. At this station, participants had the opportunity to lightly shock each other, demonstrating nerve stimulation resulting in the contraction of a muscle that controls thumb movement.
TMU will continue offering STEM Days each fall and spring semester. “The goal of STEM Day,” offered Bowen, “is to accomplish three things: meet new students and build relationships for the future; share the vast opportunities the Pilgram Marpeck School of STEM has to offer future scientists and scholars; and provide an experience that transcends the science experience and glorifies Jesus Christ as the Lord of creation.”