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Detroit, Southfield middle school students celebrate National STEM Day by making LED circuits

Release Date: November 11, 2021
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A Sampson-Webber student folds the paper to close the circuit and light up the LED. 
LTU photo

SOUTHFIELD—The coronavirus pandemic curtailed the in-person activities of Lawrence Technological University’s Marburger STEM Center, the clearinghouse for the university’s K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach, initiatives, and programming.

But now, after nearly 18 months of virtual events, face-to-face activities are back.

The Marburger STEM Center team celebrated National STEM Day on Monday, Nov. 8 with visits to Glen W. Levey Middle School in the Southfield Public Schools and the Sampson-Webber Leadership Academy in the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Jay Jessen, assistant director of the STEM Center, and STEM Center Ambassador Daniel Kagan, an LTU senior majoring in civil and architectural engineering, visited Chrisondra Austin’s STEM classes at Levey Middle School, while Sibrina Collins, STEM Center executive director, visited the science class of Lashon Clay and the mathematics classes of Kevin Fells and Cordell Gibson at Sampson-Webber.

In order to engage the students about the importance of electric energy, batteries as a source of electrons, and circuits, the STEM Center team asked the students to share with the class their favorite apps they enjoy using on their smartphones. Many students said they enjoy using Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. However, when asked about using the Facebook app, the students boldly shared that “Facebook is for old people.”

Subsequently, these future scientists and engineers were provided with a paper template to assemble an electric circuit and kits containing an LED light, a coin cell battery, copper conducting tape, and a paper clip. Carl Grolle, Marburger STEM Center Ambassador, an LTU sophomore majoring in biomedical engineering, helped to assemble the kits prior to delivery of the workshops. The middle school students worked hard and were proud to show off their new working LED electric circuits. (The electric circuit paper template used for this workshop can be obtained online at Makerspace.com.)

Said Collins: “These types of hands-on experiences, which are aligned with LTU’s motto ‘Theory and Practice’, are very important to engage the next generation of talented and diverse STEM leaders.”

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 15 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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