Shenango to host STEAM Day for Sharon school students

A Penn State faculty member shows students from Sharon schools how to build somethings strong using paper towel roles and duct tape.

Art instructor Ed Hallahan works with a group of students during STEAM day 2015.

Credit: Penn State

SHARON, Pa. — Penn State Shenango and the Sharon City School District are partnering to provide the second annual STEAM Day on Nov. 21. STEAM day is a unique experience offered to over 150 sixth grade students in the Sharon City School District.

The acronym, STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, is part of a larger movement to include the arts and creativity within the typical STEM fields. This joint venture to host the STEAM Day is part of a larger STEAM initiative in which the Sharon City School District secured a grant to integrate STEAM concepts into their curriculum, summer programs, and after-school robotics programs.

As part of STEAM Day, Penn State Shenango faculty will provide hands-on STEAM activities for the students to foster excitement and interest in the STEAM fields. This will provide a unique opportunity for the middle school students to learn in a college classroom and to visit a college campus that is in their own community. Students will spend an entire school day on the Shenango campus exploring these hands-on activities. A synthetic cadaver, named Synthia, is one of the many highlights that students will discover when they step foot into Synthia’s Den.

Not only will students be engaged while learning about Synthia and the complexities of our muscles and bones, but they will also be challenged to use their creativity in another session to engineer a “Big Sculpture” out of 1,500 cardboard tubes that were recycled and collected over the past several weeks from the campus and district. Additionally, students will investigate the basic building blocks of life in a class session entitled, “DNA-Molecules of Life,” and in other sessions have the opportunity to learn about “Special Effects Using Household Chemicals” and “Bacteria: The Dark Truth.” 

All minds alike will be intrigued by the scientific inquiry taking place in these classrooms and labs. In Sharon Hall, mathematical thinkers will have the opportunity in “Math in Magic” to use logical reasoning to solve real-life problems. Finally, the American Heart Institute/UPMC will bring students the opportunity to learn the lifesaving technique of CPR. 

The daylong event will include a treat that Penn State students and fans know all too well, Penn State Berkey Creamery Ice Cream. The sixth grade students will satisfy their sweet tooth by enjoying a dish from the Berkey Creamery in the Great Hall. The event will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude at 2:15 p.m. in the Penn State Shenango Auditorium (147 Shenango Ave. in downtown Sharon, Pennsylvania).