Annual Durham Elementary program gathers STEAM
Between 400 to 500 students, parents and friends packed into Durham Elementary School March 2 for the school's annual STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Mathmatics) night.
The hugely popular event was organized by teachers Nikole Emerson and Anna Southards.
"Our Family STEAM evening has grown in size and popularity over the past three years that Nikole and Anna have been leading this," said Durham Principal Rhett Boudreau. "They are amazing teacher leaders who take this on because of their passion for science and the love of their students."
Boudreau said the event is so popular, the school sends buses to nearby apartment complexes to ensure students and parents without transportation attend.
In addition, more than 25 Durham staff members and more than 20 parent/student volunteers helped with manning the various stations.
The evening's activities included everything from owl pellet dissection to making Oobleck, the fictional green substance from Dr. Seuss' "Bartholomew and the Oobleck."
However, Emerson, who teaches kindergarten at the school, pointed out that the annual "egg drop" is always the highlight of the evening.
"Just as our event has grown over the years, the egg drop has gotten grander," she said. "Seven years ago, the eggs were dropped from a 6-foot ladder. This year, they were dropped from a scissor lift."
Emerson said since it was Dr. Seuss' birthday, the theme revolved around the late children's author.
"The Oobleck station was a hit (so much messy fun!) as was the 'Stack the Cat's Hat,'" she said.
Other stations of note included:
• Tigard High Schools Robotic Team brought their robots, discussed how they built them and allowed other students to operate them.
• Heart2Heart Farms brought farm animals that linked into some books being used in kindergarten.
• Tesla Inc., the electric automotive and energy storage company, made a presentation on solar panels.
• Student dissecting those owl pellets had a chart to help them identify the bones and materials they found inside each pellet.
• One station that focused on refracted water
• Students racing pinewood derby cars and determining how added weight impacts the cars.