KNE Challenge & STEM Night Update

It’s been a busy winter and spring at KNE! We built on last year’s momentum where close to 100 kids and adults took the KNE Challenge at our STEM Nights, STEM Talk, and other STEM-tastic events. Based on last year’s success with mentoring high school seniors to plan and organize fun, educational, community building events, we just finished working with 8 high school students on 2 STEM Nights at local elementary schools.

We were excited to do the inaugural STEM Night at a school last month. The KNE interns designed and planned 14 different activities and recruited close to 30 students to help at the event. The STEM Night also featured stations from the school’s teachers, parents, local groups, and even a paleontologist and entomologist (insect specialist) from the American Museum of Natural History. More than 150 elementary school students and their families enjoyed immersing themselves in animal dissections, dry ice experiments, binary bracelets, and more. Parents raved about the event.

One parent said, “STEM Night was a blast. Each station was so fun and engaging that the kids didn’t even notice they were learning in the process. The whole experience was made even better by the high school student volunteers who were great with the younger kids. My kids are already looking forward to next year.”

Another wrote, “One of the most wonderful things about STEM Night was that the children got immersed in learning from young adults who were not that much older than themselves. It brought complex topics like physics (hovercraft and paper airplanes), chemistry (slime making and dry ice activities), biology (dissections and live animals) and technology (lots of robots) all within reach of these young minds. STEM Night sparked the scientific imagination of children and parents alike as I think many left wanting to recreate these experiences at home. Most importantly, it was FUN and it’s OK to get a little messy.”

We just ran our second event at another elementary school (the second one we’ve done for them) with more than 40 student volunteers! We partnered with the same groups to bring the exciting world of science, technology, engineering, and math to at least 150 more elementary school students and their families.

The STEM Nights are a terrific way for families to learn and build a greater sense of community. Close to another 60 students took the KNE Challenge and earned our awesome KNE T-shirt. Some of the high school volunteers were disappointed that we’re not doing any more STEM Nights this spring.

Don’t worry, both of these schools have already asked us to come back next spring! If you’re trying to start a STEM Night at your school, feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to help you get started!

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