The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory recently sponsored Career Day for Hickory High School Interact Club members. Partnering with Catawba Science Center (CSC), the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory provided students a field trip to CSC where students participated in hands-on experiences related to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
STEM education is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides relevant learning experiences for students. Students are engaged in activities that equip them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative, and collaborative skills. Through STEM education, students establish a connection between what they are learning in high school and future careers. Introducing students to science related fields often results in students choosing an occupation in a STEM related area.
The students completed a cow eye dissection, an activity which is a notable component of STEM education: investigation and discovery. Melinda Wallrich, CSC School Programs Coordinator, led the activity. She noted that “STEM related activities, such as dissection, pique student interest and inspire learning.” Students were then toured through the numerous exhibits at CSC by Bruce Beerbower, CSC Lead Naturalist, which included the new Ocean Bound exhibit where students embark on a journey through watersheds to see how everyone’s actions on land affect earth’s oceans.
The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory has sponsored the HHS Interact Club for the past 18 years with teacher Cheryl Rhea, Math Department Chair, as the club’s advisor. Hickory High Interact Club is the largest service club at HHS and boasts over 100 members who are required to volunteer in the community. Examples of volunteer service projects include Operation Christmas Child for Samaritan’s Purse, Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and Bell Ringing, and volunteering at the Brian Center Nursing Home.
At the conclusion of the field trip, the students were welcomed at the club’s Rotary meeting and luncheon by President Mark Seaman and Linda Lutz, Interact Club Liaison. Ms. Wallrich was guest speaker and spoke to club members and student guests about the importance of STEM education.
Students participating in Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory 2016 career day were: Olivia Belcher, Heather Bruhn, Elena Cheek, Monee Clarke, Kaitlyn Dang, Sierra Eaton, Leah Eimer, Meg Einfalt, Kendall Gouge, Sydney Hall, Christina Hart, Grecia Hernandez, Maitam Huynh, Simmons Mikaela, Israel Negrete, Rachel Paquin, Krisitn Reynolds, Emma Salyards, Miniya Shinn, Quanisha Smith, Emily Snyder, Krsitina Stuckey, Virginia Tanner, YenVan Truong and Makenna Vieira.
The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. In adherence to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” the club has a history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, visit www.hickoryrotary.org.