Neenah elementary-age students learned science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) skills during the summer months through a unique summer academy July 14-18 at Neenah High School.
The first-year event for 50 students in kindergarten through fifth grade ran in three groups for three hours each day and taught students skills in a variety of STEM areas. Neenah High School technology teacher Tony White and Hoover Elementary teaching aide Maripat Franke designed the event.
Staff members Lori Fulmer, Lori Mathews, Scott Hertting, Michael Lehman and John Bergstresser along with a group of 11 Neenah High School students also assisted with various parts of the program. A group of engineers from Bemis, Inc. worked with the participants on July 17. The cost of the week-long program was just $20 per student.
Students learned the engineering design process and created their own puzzle cubes. They also did a scientific investigation where they mixed and evaluated their own polymer compounds. Students explored the structure and function of different materials while solving design challenges, and participated in several unique engineering challenges such as an egg drop, marble roller coaster, paddleboat, zip-line and structures. The students kept a notebook of all their activities for their own learning and to share with their parents.
Preparations for another event during the summer of 2015 are already underway.