This year, Middletown High School introduced a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Day format, with one Friday each month dedicated to STEM presenters. Students can sign up to listen to a speaker during club period on the designated Friday. In past years, MHS had one day dedicated each year where students could choose three sessions to go to and listen to presenters talk about their jobs while students explored career options. The first STEM day of the 2015-2016 school year was on Friday, December 4th.
STEM day is set up and organized by MHS science teacher Jane Brandt. Brandt brings in guest speakers ranging from a baseball broadcaster to an aerospace engineer to speak with interested students.
Brandt said, “This year we are doing a STEM mini-series all throughout the year where we are going to have just a few STEM people as opposed to having one gigantic day.”
“It’s difficult to find specific types of speakers. The science, technology, engineering, and math speakers are very easy to find because it’s a broad subject and career,” said Brandt. It’s more difficult to find “lawyers, musicians, special types of doctors, that kind of thing.”
One of these guest speakers was Ronald Tosh, a physicist for the Radiation Physics Division at NIST, who spoke about his profession and what it is like in the scientific field.
Tosh said, “I hope people came away with some idea of the various ways that science, technology, engineering and math are each used within my discipline of radiation physics.”
The importance of Tosh’s profession is “to develop and maintain measurement standards for medical radiotherapy (used in cancer treatment at hospitals and clinics throughout the US) and x-ray scanning systems.”
Tosh described his experience at MHS as fun, and that the whole program was, “conducted very well.”
Another speaker who was at MHS for STEM day was Geoff Arnold, who works as a broadcasting and personal relations manager for the Frederick Keys baseball team, an affiliate with the Baltimore Orioles.
“The importance of my profession is to increase the exposure of the Frederick Keys across the community by generating media attention”, said Arnold
He also added that in his session students “Learned how baseball broadcasters use statistics and technology to do their job, as well as how remote broadcast equipment works.”
In the session with Arnold was MHS sophomore Abbe Pannucci who said, “It’s a lot more convenient to go to STEM activities during our club period on Fridays instead of taking a whole day out of learning. Especially if you don’t have your favorite club it is more fun to go to STEM.”
“It was fun presenting to the students, and passing along some information about topics which they weren’t familiar,” added Arnold.