Facebook pixel Community STEM Event Is STLCC-Wildwood Innovation of the Year

Community STEM Event Is STLCC-Wildwood Innovation of the Year

Wednesday, March 17, 2021


Wildwood STEM eventA large-scale, hands-on community event focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education was chosen as St. Louis Community College-Wildwood’s Innovation of the Year. 

The project submitted by STLCC-Florissant Valley faculty and staff, titled “Electronics Technology at-Home Kits,” was chosen as the STLCC districtwide Innovation of the Year. 

"STEM at Wildwood: Nurturing Curiosity" was a collaborative effort between the STEM department, and the Campus Life and Marketing and Communications offices. It provided opportunities to nurture curiosity, enthusiasm and motivation among future college students. 

Faculty and staff involved in the project were Syed Chowdhury, Ph.D., professor and chair of STEM; Stephanie Church, coordinator of campus life and college transition; adjunct faculty members Richard Menendez, Bijan Pashaie and Mohi Saki; and Gina Tarte, coordinator of marketing and communications. 

“This program exposes visitors to a STEM environment that ignites interest as they navigate through activities. The goal is to deepen their understanding of various topics related to science, technology, engineering and math,” Chowdhury said. 

The event attracted more than 250 participants. Event highlights included:

  • Third-party vendors who displayed and demonstrated scientific and educational material.
  • Science Club, Green for Life Club, Math Club, staff, full-time and adjunct faculty who showcased unique labs and experiments.
  • Booths featuring different organizations, including local school districts.
  • Campus Life and the Amnesty Club representatives sought volunteers to participate in a future blood drive on campus.
  • Distinguished guest speakers presented lectures.
  • Robotics competitions and a stargazing night were staged.

“The STEM event hosted by the St. Louis Community College-Wildwood plants the seed of curiosity for creative application of math and sciences. The event introduces children to the STEM field and fosters the potential for lifelong learning,” said Madison Sell, president of Veterans and Supporters Together, an organization that supports active duty military and veteran students at Goldfarb School of Nursing. 

Research has shown that success rates of STEM graduates in the workplace are much higher than graduates in other fields. Employers are increasingly interested in hiring candidates with STEM backgrounds because they can provide advanced problem-solving capabilities and innovative approaches. 

STEM event at WildwoodResearch conducted by the National Math and Science Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education also show that only 36% of high school graduates are prepared to pursue a college-level science course, and only 16% of high school seniors are keen on pursuing STEM careers. 

“Although many parts of the world have taken significant steps to create a meaningful STEM curriculum for pre-college students, we are still behind in this race,” Chowdhury said. “Almost all future career paths will need a STEM background. Most fields will require multidisciplinary, interactive and dynamic people. Right now, motivating a large part of incoming college students toward a STEM education is an area of concern.” 

The League for Innovation in the Community College established the Innovation of the Year Award to recognize an individual or group from each of the member college districts who have use creative, productive approaches to meet new needs or solve old problems. Criteria for the award are quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness. STLCC has participated in the program since 1983-84.

Back to top