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Middle Gate Hosts Annual STEM Night



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Middle Gate Elementary School held its annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Night event for third and fourth graders on Thursday, May 21.

The event, organized by math/science specialist Jill Bracksieck and the school’s math intervention teacher Kristen Delgado, boasted many activities that allowed the students to learn about and explore science and math.

Some of the activities were put together by representatives from the EverWonder Children’s Museum, while others were set up by Ms Bracksieck and Ms Delgado.

Both women agreed that math and science are incredibly important subjects for their students to be learning.

“It’s hugely important, and the kids know this,” said Ms Bracksieck. “Kids are natural mathematicians and natural scientists; they go about quantifying their world from the moment they’re born.”   

EverWonder Children’s Museum Interim Director Karen Smiley also agreed.

“I think it’s incredibly important,” Ms Smiley said. “I think people use math and science every day and they maybe don’t realize they’re using it.”

The Marble Rollercoasters attracted many of the students, including third graders Reese Wheat and Morgan Harrison, who were accompanied by her father, Trent Harrison, a science teacher at Newtown High School.

Fourth graders Hayden Ward and Eli Stan both said that they thought STEM Night was “really cool” and “really good.”

This was Eli’s second time at the event and his mother, Julia Stan, said he spent at least an hour at the Marble Rollercoaster the year before.

“The more you can make science accessible and bring it into kid’s everyday lives the better,” said Ms Stan, who added that she wishes STEM Nights could be held once a month.

“I think this is fantastic,” said Kristin Ward, Hayden’s mother, while watching her son at the Force of Motion activities. “We need to bring more science into schools and this is a great way to do that, to get parents excited and to get students excited about science because that’s where we need to go globally. Science and math, it’s all science and math.”

Hayden said that science is his favorite subject to study.

“They had really cool stuff at the brass microscopes,” he said. “Also, the balloon helicopter things are really cool.”

Middle Gate math/science specialist Jill Bracksieck, second from right, and her family members, husband Matt, son Orion, and daughter Maia, during Middle Gate Elementary School’s annual STEM Night, held Thursday, May 21.
Newtown High School teacher Trent Harrison helped his daughter Morgan, and her friend Reese Wheat, right, complete a Marble Rollercoaster during Middle Gate Elementary School’s annual STEM Night.
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