MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. — “I never knew that it took 21 days for a chicken to grow inside of an egg,” said a third Northwest Elementary School grader from rom Mrs. Kester’s class. The student was one of over 650 to attend UMO’s Annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) on the Green event.
The event featured 37 interactive booths and three rocket launches. Each activity was linked to a concept within the third grade curriculum. Booths included Ultimate Angry Birds, Egg-cellent Strength, Catapulting Pumpkins, Stand in a Bubble, Float an Action Figure, Oobleck, Flying Drones, Technology Metaphors, Where Your Food Comes From, and many more. Several area businesses and organizations had booths as well including Mt. Olive Pickle Co., Mount Olive Fire Department, Kinetic Minds, James Sprunt Community College, WNCT, and Wake Technical Community College.
Students from each of UMO’s schools assisted with the day’s events. “As a Biomedical Science major, I enjoyed helping area third graders learn about the function of their hearts and lungs,” said UMO sophomore Dominic Haggerty.” UMO Junior Candy Rangle said, “I liked volunteering for this event because it was rewarding to teach students material that will be beneficial for their futures. By getting to see, touch, and learn about concepts, the students were interested and engaged.”
Participating third grade teachers praised UMO for its planning and coordination of the event. “This was the first opportunity since COVID that our kids have gotten to do anything like this. I am so grateful for the experience for them,” said Christy Musgrave of Wayne Christian School. “I was impressed with how well everything was organized and planned out.” Alexis Pate, a third grade teacher from North Duplin Elementary School added, “This experience was super fun and educational!”
Students from North Duplin, Warsaw Primary School, Fremont, Northeast Northwest, and Wayne Christian Elementary Schools attended the event. Participating sponsors included: Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Mount Olive Family Medicine Center, Mount Olive Piggly Wiggly, Mount Olive Family Dentistry, Mt Olive Pickle Co., Capital Chevrolet, Inc. and the NC Pickle Festival.
“Every year the excitement and participation continues to grow for our STEM on the Green Event,” said Dr. Sara Lahman, Associate Professor of Biology and the event coordinator. “For this year’s event, we had strong representation from all disciplines and all three schools on campus. That is exciting to me, because that means there is something for everybody. Our students get to connect their STEM interests with the third graders, which makes it personal and relevant for everyone involved.”
A bright-eyed third grader from Northeast Elementary School summed it up best, “This was the best field trip ever!”
–Rhonda Jessup, University of Mount Olive