After the pottery wheel project the principal of the middle school in Gonzales asked if we could extend the program to engage 2 STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) focused classes, about 60 youth in total. It was agreed that this could be done if the effort was led by about 20 high school mentors trained to lead small teams of middle school students. With support from the school district a 2-month long pilot project was put it place: the high school would provide 20 student volunteers who would be trained to lead STEM activities with 60 middle school students.

First team of volunteers, mostly seniors. They were hand-picked by 2 amazing teachers-on-special-assignment: Tina and Jose.
Second team of volunteers, mostly 9th graders. Once a week the high school mentors would receive training on a STEM activity they would lead with the younger students. In the photo above they are learning how to wire a simple circuit using a breadboard, wires, a battery, and an LED.
Angelica and Jose working with middle school students.
The LED lights up on the first try, success!
New materials for building more pottery wheels.
Biance guides the team on how the metal pieces should be placed.
Brandi is a senior and somehow an amazing welder. She welded the pieces together for the middle school students.
The frames must be painted for protection against water and wet clay.
Student teams get to decide the colors and patterns.
Baby blue paint applied by Sarv
The tiger frame emerges.
One of the pottery wheel designs was shared at a county presentation about STEM programs at local schools. These 4 students were selected to represent the program.
Categories: GonzalesSTEM