Weatherford News

STEMania offers learning opportunity for area students

Lilly Brooks, student at Austin Elementary is with her teacher Melissa Bock Friday as part of STEMania.
Lilly Brooks, student at Austin Elementary is with her teacher Melissa Bock Friday as part of STEMania. Weatherford Star-Telegram

The campus of Weatheford College -WC, grew in large numbers recently - albeit temporarily - due to a program referred to as STEMania. The program is designed to engage and enrich elementary aged students and expose them to information in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“The Weatherford College campus in Wise County (WCWC) has been hosting the STEMania event for 4 years, but this is the first year that the main campus in Weatherford has hosted their own event,” said Dr. Allison Stamatis, Weatherford College Life Science professor. “We are starting ‘small’ this year and were only able to invite 4th graders from Weatherford ISD campuses, all 650 of them, and the Gifted and Talented students from Millsap ISD.

She said in the future they would like to include more schools in Parker County so they may provide a memorable experience for all local students.

“We would love to expand each year as long as we can handle the capacity,” Stamatis said. “We received sponsorships from Schulman Theatres, owners of City Lights in Hudson Oaks and the new Film Alley in Weatherford, and Imperial Construction. Their generous sponsorships provided for supplies for all of the activities.”

Stamatis, along with nearly 200 WC faculty, staff and students, volunteered their time to conduct the activities and escort small groups of students around campus to provide for a safe learning environment. Dr. Lisa Welch, chair of Life Sciences and Michelle Owens organized and coordinated various part of the event.

“We had more than 50 hands-on activities, including studying genetics with Mr. Potato Head,” she said. “Attendees had the opportunity to make slime and learn about thermodynamics; look at living aquatic insects from a local stream; study water quality; use math to do a fun card trick; and making pop-up cards with paper engineering. It was a day filled with fun, creativity and discovery.”