EKU hosts STEM Week for high school students

EKU hosts STEM Week for high school students
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:03 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Eastern Kentucky University is celebrating STEM week.

The university is welcoming high school students to campus to visit the science programs.

Faculty hope this week will encourage students to go into stem fields.

For the 2023- 2024 school year, the Kentucky Department of Education has updated their science education standards after initially placing them under review back in 2021. These standards were updated as part of an education initiative from the state legislature with the hopes to better equip Kentucky students to be educated consumers of scientific information in their everyday lives.

EKU is stepping in to encourage high school students on their STEM path options.

“It’s very important, especially with girls, to introduce them into STEM so they get comfortable with it as soon as possible,” said program specialist Destiny Cornett. “It’s shown that there are more boys in STEM than girls in STEM. Both matter, but we want them to be more equal. And I think introducing it to them at a young age gets them more comfortable to say, ‘I am good at STEM,’ ‘I can do STEM.’”

The week’s events focus on math, chemistry, biology, wildlife management and even forensic science, with the main goal of the event to showcase the variety of stem jobs available to young Kentuckians.

“There are lots of careers out there based in STEM, so we think its important to expose our children, our young ones, to these areas so hopefully we can inspire them to start liking STEM and hopefully they will find a career,” said Dean of College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Dr. Tom Otieno.

According to tests administered by KDE, only 13% of high school students scored proficient in science, making it one of the worst-tested areas on the 2021-2022 school report card.

“Science can be a part of English and math. I think it’s so interdisciplinary that people get a little scared of how broad it is and how much you can do with it, but it shouldn’t be scary. That should be the fun part with it,” said Cornett.

EKU hopes that this week, not only will students get a chance to learn more about STEM programs and be inspired to continue their curiosity into a science career.