Catholic School Students Learn STEM Fields in a Hands-on way

Catholic School Students Learn STEM Fields in a Hands-on way

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Aubrie Harrington, a seventh-grader at Mater Dei-Nativity School, dissects a cow's eye May 6 while participating in a day devoted to science, technology, engineering and math at Catholic-run Briar Cliff Unversity in Sioux City, Iowa. (CNS photo/Jerry L. Mennenga)

Aubrie Harrington, a seventh-grader at Mater Dei-Nativity School, dissects a cow's eye May 6 while participating in a day devoted to science, technology, engineering and math at Catholic-run Briar Cliff Unversity in Sioux City, Iowa. (CNS photo/Jerry L. Mennenga)
Aubrie Harrington, a seventh-grader at Mater Dei-Nativity School, dissects a cow’s eye May 6 while participating in a day devoted to science, technology, engineering and math at Catholic-run Briar Cliff Unversity in Sioux City, Iowa. (CNS photo/Jerry L. Mennenga)

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) – Amid a roomful of oohs and aahs, Aubrie Harrington carefully used her scissors to trim away the cornea and the gelatinous fat from a cow eye.

“I think this is interesting,” said the Sioux City Mater Dei-Nativity student in between snips. “I like science in general and I really like this session because it is so hands-on.”

Harrington was one of almost 200 seventh graders from 10 schools to participate May 6 in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Day at Briar Cliff University, the Catholic college in Sioux City. The daylong event was tailored to help middle school students learn more about the STEM fields.
“In today’s complex world, teachers, students, parents and communities need to understand how the STEM fields are the basis for innovative problem-solving and discovery,” said Brenda Welch, youth program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and a member of the STEM festival committee. “Those are best acquired through exploratory learning and active student engagement.” The event was the fourth STEM day held at Briar Cliff.