Thurgood Marshall Academy hosted its 2nd Annual STEM Fair on May 10th, 2015, inviting area schools and guest presenters for an afternoon of science, technology, engineering and math. More than 200 students, including students from Alfred Kiger Savoy and DC Bilingual elementary schools, explored 16 different exhibits where they learned the mathematics and physics of catapults, the process of DNA extraction, and how to create brain caps that explain the different functions of the brain. Professionals from the University of Maryland’s Physics Department, SEAPEARCH, and the Naval Research Laboratory also shared their expertise in technology through hands-on demonstrations, such as operating underwater robots and using magnets to control motion.
Rachel Rabinowitz, Project Manager at Thurgood Marshall Academy, mentioned that students have been preparing their exhibits since January. Not only did students teach the participants and facilitate engagement in complex content, but they also helped coordinate and manage aspects of the STEM fair, something that Ms. Rabinowitz says made the fair a true success. Academic Director LaRita Williams added: “Having Thurgood Marshall Academy students manage the booths reinforces their mastery of the content learned in the classroom. We know they’ve learned the subject matter if they can teach it to the younger kids through an interactivity like building a catapult.”
Year 2 of the STEM Fair was a major success for students, teachers, and the community, and Thurgood Marshall Academy looks forward to continuing the success by increasing the number of participants and the diversity of content in future years.