Elementary School Taps Texas A&M Students for STEM Fair

Greens Prairie Elementary School recently held a science, technology, engineering and math fair for students with the help of undergraduates and graduate students from Texas A&M University.

For the event, TAMU students set up booths around the school covering topics such as petroleum engineering, biology and entomology.

Emily Bloom, a junior in the university's petroleum engineering program and a member of the Society for Petroleum Engineers helped host a booth that demonstrated permeability and porosity with water poured over marbles and sand.

"We go give presentations, just educating little kids on the oil and gas industry and energy and especially how it impacts our society positively instead of negatively," Bloom said, according to a report in a TAMU student publication. "What we try to do is educate the kids on petroleum engineering because it is such a specific field, and not a lot of kids understand petroleum. That's a big word. They hear petroleum and they get scared, but we try to break it down for them."

Bloom was herself inspired to study petroleum engineering because of a similar event, hosted by Chevron, when she was in the 8th grade.

Joanie King, a doctoral candidate, was on hand to help explain a booth filled with displays of native and non-native insects. She told The Battalion that it's important for both students and their parents to attend these kinds of events so that everyone understands the possibilities and why it's important to encourage young scientists.

"It's good to get kids exposed at an early age so they can start thinking about it," King said. "A lot of people aren't exposed and they don't know that it's an option. 'Oh I can study bugs when I grow up? That's pretty cool,' but there's actually a lot of jobs in entomology."

Parent Darin Paine said he agreed and told the newspaper that college students connect with the younger students in a way other adults can't.

"I think anytime you have Aggie students that they can experience, they're going to listen to more than their parents and get a different experience from maybe their teachers might present," Paine said. "It's really nice to get to see young people who are seeing and doing different things and how it relates to what they've learned in school and what they may experience for a career when they get older."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].