Eagle Valley Middle School shows off during Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Night | NevadaAppeal.com

Eagle Valley Middle School shows off during Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Night

Teri Vance
Special to the Nevada Appeal
Rachel Girdner, 7, enjoys a hair-raising experience at the Eagle Valley Middle School STEAM event on Tuesday night.
Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal | Jim Grant / Nevada Appeal

Anthony Aguilar and Jack Wilson, both 13-year-old eighth-graders at Eagle Valley Middle School gave a demonstration on how to work a robotic arm at the annual Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Night.

“You can move it up or down or also turn the rotation of the claw,” explained Anthony. He showed how to pick up different items with it.

“You go down to the object you want then you want to start to close it up and lift it up,” he said.

It was one of dozens of displays from elementary-school through college students set up Tuesday evening. It also included exhibits from community partners, both public and private.

“We started it to promote what the students were doing,” said technology teacher Lisa Stocke-Koop, who has organized the event for the past 12 years. “It has turned into something that showcases STEAM in so many different ways. It opens their eyes to the different class and career opportunities.”

She said parents who attend one year with their students may return the next year to display his or her business.

“They see how engaged the kids are in the possibilities,” Stock-Koop said. “Once they see the kids actively engaged, they’re excited to come and share their passions. It grows every year.”

Aubrey White, assistant youth librarian at the Carson City Library, promoted a programming and 3-D modeling camp being offered over spring break.

“The modern library is not just about books,” he said. “It’s about providing free access to what people need in order to learn.”

Jamie Fry, an electrical engineering student from the University of Nevada, Reno, brought some simple machines from the lab.

“It’s good for them to see all of these hands-on things, and think this is so cool,” Fry said. “They see that they get to build things rather than just having to learn the math or science behind it.”

That’s the draw for Devon Defilippi, 13, who wasn’t interested in joining the Lego Robotics team until he learned he could actually control the robots movements.

“I really like the programming part of it,” he said. “You get to have fun with trial and error until you finally get it right.”

School board member and past president Ron Swirczek said he was pleased to see representatives from throughout the school district and community at the annual STEAM Night.

“It gives students direction at an early age,” he said.

“It’s all about the kids. It’s just fabulous.”