GCSC Hosts STEM 'SURGE' Day for Fifth Graders

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -     
More than 100 fifth graders from Oakland Terrace, Springfield and St. Andrew Elementary schools came to Gulf Coast State College on Tuesday for a day filled with activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The STEM day was called SURGE (Students Understanding the Research and Groundwork of Experiments), and it gave students the opportunity to get hands on with all of the STEM fields.

The kids rotated to several stations with interactive activities including: orgami, operating unmanned vehicles, launching rockets, and learning how to hack and code on computers.
 
Katie McCurdy, GCSC and Bay District Schools' Stem Administrator, said she hopes the event will help spark an interest that the kids will want to continue to explore.    

"We hope it really sparks curiosity in these kids and they want to continue in those STEM aspects in education," she said.

Each of the stations were led by either GCSC faculty and/or retired Navy base engineer, which also exposed students to the type of education they need for high paying jobs with companies like GKN.
    
"It's allowing us to create that pipeline so that those kids are prepared for these big STEM industries that are coming to Bay County," McCurdy said. "When they leave highschool or leave K-12 and they go on to post-secondary, they have those skills that are needed."

Bay District Schools is planning another SURGE event in the Spring for fifth graders from other Bay County Elementary schools.


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