Kids enjoyed getting their hands dirty and sticky while learning the fundamentals of math and science at Liberty Elementary School’s STEAM Night Thursday.
The acronym STEAM, which stands for an emphasis on integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math curriculum, uses hands-on activities to reach students.
"The purpose of STEAM Night is for students and parents to see the integration of STEAM with fun hands-on activities," LES Principal Chris Anderson said. "We want kids to love science and if they start to love it now they will have an excellent experience in middle school and will like reading non-fiction."
Parents and students visited more than 20 exhibits placed throughout the school. One of the highlights was an inflatable planetarium on the cafeteria stage, where kids learned about the constellations and also the inside of a plant cell.
Students learned how to extract DNA from strawberries, got to program Lego robots, saw exploding lunch bags, stomped on bottles to make paper rockets fly into the air and listened to a representative from Coastal Electric about electricity.
Other exhibits included dancing, coding with iPads, fingerprinting by the Midway Police Department, bubble wands, creating slushies in bags and gas balloons.
With the help of the entire school staff, STEAM Night has continued to grow, Anderson said, and in the past between 800 and 1,200 people have attended the event.
More than 20 volunteers from Armstrong State University, Georgia Southern University and from the University of Georgia 4-H extension performed experiments and demonstrations for students.
LES student Harley O’Brien said she attended STEAM Night because she thought it would be fun.
Her favorite activity was the fruit melody exhibit, which involves squeezing fruit to conduct electricity to a machine that plays music. Harley was also shown how to program a Lego robot car.
Parent James "Frog" Dunn attended STEAM Night with his daughter, who loves to learn how things work together. Her favorite part was seeing the firetruck and constellations, while his was seeing the drone.
Dunn said he learned how drones can be used during emergencies and for search and rescues.
Dunn thinks STEAM Night is a great way to get the community involved.