Hand-On Experience for High School Students at Redlands' STEM Day

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities demonstrated by college students provided many hands-on learning opportunities for high school students at Redlands Community College STEM Day.

Approximately 75 students from Calumet, Union City and Watonga high schools spent the day on campus working with college students on various hands-on activities and touring the college’s aquaponics lab.

“This was an exciting opportunity to engage high school students in STEM activities and introduce them to a higher education environment,” said Redlands science professor Zach Gutmann. “We are grateful for the support of Redlands faculty, staff and students for coordinating and assisting with this event. Additionally, we appreciate OK-INBRE’s support of this event.”

Watonga High School science teacher Maryl McCrary brought several sophomore students. “STEM day was awesome! Getting hands-on experience with different programs was fun and very informational,” McCrary said. “The insects were a big hit, and my students loved the aquaponics greenhouse. We had great discussions about sustainability and ‘feeding the world in 2050,’ a recent topic in my daughter's agriculture class at Oklahoma State.”

Redlands students developed several hands-on activities involving the different areas of STEM, including aquaponics, freshwater sponges, nursing and forensic science. A student from Calumet thought the DNA extraction exercise was “pretty cool!”

Tod Carel, Union City Schools superintendent said the event was “very informative and a fun day. Our students truly enjoyed it.”

The Oklahoma IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (OK-INBRE) is a program awarded by a grant through the National Institutes of Health Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program.  Two aspects of OK-INBRE provide research opportunities for students from primarily undergraduate institutions, community colleges, and minority serving institutions to serve as a "pipeline" for new students to enter into health research careers, and enhance the science and technology knowledge of Oklahoma's workforce.  

Gutmann said the college plans to make it an annual event, opening it up to more students.