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G.E. Peters, WAU Partner to Inspire A Love of Science, Technology

Story by Taashi Rowe; Photos by Gladys S. Kelley
Published 12/12/12


Brian Gauthier (blue shirt) shares an experiment with eager Josiah and Justin Williams, Phillip Proctor, and other guests.

As they moved from table to table, the roughly 100 people who attended the December 4 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Night at the George E. Peters Adventist School in Hyattsville, Md., gained hands-on knowledge of some of God’s most fascinating creations. They learned to make tie-dye-like swirls in colored cow’s milk by dropping liquid soap into a bowl, easy ways to solve complex math problems, how to make a lava lamp, how static electricity works and how to make music with vegetables.

“It was fun and interesting,” said an excited Nicholas Cunningham, an eighth-grader who helped out at the lava lamp station. Karen McKinnie, chair of the school’s science department and STEM coordinator, says this was the feedback they were hoping for when they organized the evening. While they’ve routinely hold open houses dedicated to science or math, this was the first year that they added technology and engineering. “We want to expose, encourage and enrich our students about the wonderful world God has made through science, technology, engineer and math and also reveal the spiritual applications,” she said.

It is also an opportunity to showcase how much progress the school has made since it almost closed its doors a couple years ago. “It was important for us to have this night to showcase what our students have done and show how we have developed a strong STEM foundation. We want to inspire in our students a passion and desire to learn more about mathematics and the sciences from a biblical perspective,” said John C. Alberty, principal. “Our students are now excited about learning science. How do I know this? Many of the parents told me that their children were the ones who insisted that they come tonight!”

The evening was also part of an ongoing collaboration with nearby Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md. Andrea Campbell, a senior biochemistry major at WAU was on hand rubbing a piece of pipe against her clothes to show attendees how electrostatic electricity works. Working with G.E. Peters students is part of her senior seminar grade. “Once a week, we come to the school and teach new experiments. The most fun part is we show students that God is a part of science,” she said. 

At the volume and measurements table where participants guessed how many cups of water went into a particular container, first-grader Natalia Gay, happily used a cup to scoop water into a larger container to see if her guess about the amount it can hold is correct. “It’s really nice for parents and students to interact this way,” says her mother, Jennifer. “She went to public school before this and didn’t have opportunities like this. At her old school they were trying to put her on Attention Deficit Disorder Hyperactivity drugs and here she is on the honor roll and is so much happier.”
 


First-grader Natalia Gay learns how to make a lava lamp.

 


First-grader Jonathan Grandison performs an experiment under the watchful eye of presenter Tamaya Williams.

 


First-grade teacher Monica Nudd helps a student at the volume and measurements table.

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