Base library serves as launching pad for STEM

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — On March 18, parents and daughters of Hill Air Force Base gathered at the base library for a “Save Yourself” with STEM event. This exciting event for girls in fourth through eighth grades was put on by organizers to spark creativity through engineering and scientific processes.

This event, traditionally held at Weber State University, was held in the library on base as the events have been over the past few months. 

“We are grateful for the base library and their enthusiasm for STEM events,” said Jon McBride, STEM Outreach Coordinator. “We enjoy seeing the students get excited about STEM. Creativity is contagious, and when they see they can play science with everyday household items, their minds expand to the possibilities.”

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.

The evening began with parents and daughters working together, using their creativity to invent launchers using materials such as index cards, rubber bands, paper cups and straws. Then, while parents met with STEM instructors, the girls worked together in teams of four to form six cups into the shape of a pyramid using various materials.

Parents were encouraged by instructors to keep up their efforts in encouraging their daughters in their creativity and in STEM-related fields. They wanted parents to feel encouraged and notice the people around them working towards the same efforts. Ways to engage their daughters’ interest in STEM-related fields were also discussed.

Ashlee Youngmeyer, of Roy, whose husband is a countermeasure engineer on HAFB, learned about this event while visiting the library and attended with her daughter as a supplement for their home schooling. “We had a blast,” said Youngmeyer. “I think it is an amazing program for kiddos.”

The thing organizers hope children will walk away with is “a STEM dream,” said McBride. “Most often, children start out with a STEM dream, but through the rigors of STEM in school, they become discouraged. We hope to give them a reason and confidence to press on through difficulty to eventual success,” he said.

“STEM events are held because the U.S. government recognizes an engineering shortage and in attempts to bridge the gap National Defense Education Program was created. The National Defense Education Program aims to get kids excited and involved in engineering events at an early age with the hope that they will choose a STEM related career field.”

To learn more about the STEM program or to attend an upcoming event, call 801-777-2533.