NEWMAN - Science was in the spotlight Thursday evening at Hunt Elementary School.....along with technology, engineering, art and mathematics, subject areas collectively known as STEAM.
The school’s family night, which drew a turnout of an estimated 200 people, was dedicated to STEAM activities.
Students and their parents tried their hand at a variety of hands-on activities, each of which had learning embedded in the fun.
Nearly a dozen different stations were set up with specific activities.
Students had the opportunity to design their own paper airplane, work math problems with M&Ms, built and float boats, create shapes with marshmallows, view the rock samples and crystals displayed by a retired university professor, try their hand at watercolor salt painting and much more.
“We wanted students to be able to take some things home,” noted Rachel Henley, the school’s learning director.
The event allowed students to view learning in a new light, said Henley and Principal Donna Williams.
“We put the joy and fun into learning,” Henley remarked. “Sometimes students forget that they are learning in the moment because they are having so much fun. The parents are learning with the children and they are doing things together as a family.”
Dinner followed the STEAM activities.
“We wanted to give the families an opportunity to engage in a learning experience with their children. When you have the whole family together and they shared a learning experience and then share a meal, there is a richness to that experience,” Williams commented.
She said the Hunt School community strives to build bonds with families.
“One of our goals is to have parents join in their child’s education. It makes the learning more relevant, and building those relationships creates a powerful learning experience,” the principal said. “We try to offer several experiences throughout the year to bring students and families together.”
The event was made possible by staff members who volunteered their time to work with students on the activities, community volunteers and a group of 15 high school students who helped at the activity stations, Williams noted.
A counselor was also present at a parent outreach table to provide information.
Hunt hosts three family nights each year, Williams and Henley noted, as well as two movie nights and a variety of other outreach events which involve parents.