STEM program

Teachers and school administrators assisted students with STEM projects at William R. Davie STEM Academy’s outdoor STEM festival. The event was held to kick off the Center for Energy Education’s STEM in the Park program.

ROANOKE RAPIDS — To kick off the Center for Energy Education’s STEM in the Park program coming to schools this month, William R. Davie STEM Academy hosted an outdoor STEM festival on Sept. 23 in the school’s parking lot.

The mission of the C4EE STEM in the Park program is to expand the accessibility of STEM learning opportunities to K-12 students with limited internet access, according to a press release from the center. Activities are led by school teachers in an outdoor environment while in compliance with safety suggestions from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 25 students, along with teachers and parents, participated. The students constructed solar cars after partaking in project-based learning. Attendees admired 3-D printers, solar grasshoppers, virtual reality glasses, laser systems, and photonics.

William R. Davie STEM Academy teachers Geron Hyke and Angela Richardson demonstrated how students could pursue careers as a photonic engineer or technician.

“STEM education is a main component of what we are trying to accomplish [within the Halifax County School District],” said Eric Cunningham, superintendent of Halifax County Schools. “Our partnership with the Center for Energy Education allows us to provide this for our students in this county.”

Located in Halifax County, the C4EE is a 501©3 nonprofit organization and a center for renewable energy research, education, and workforce development for the eastern United States. The center provides a place to raise awareness of renewable energy and its importance locally, regionally, and globally.

“We are thrilled to kick off this brand new program for students in our community,” said Mozine Lowe, executive director for the C4EE. “With COVID-19 precautions preventing field trips to our campus, we have made the necessary adjustments to bring renewable energy education to the students.”

The C4EE is scheduling upcoming STEM in the Park events with K-12 schools in the Roanoke Valley for October and November.

For more information about educational programs offered by the C4EE for all ages, visit center4ee.org.