Free Saturday STEAM Intensives Stir Excitement

“This is the best way to spend my Saturday afternoon,” exclaimed young scholar Kayne M. of Front Royal, Virginia. On February 18th, Randolph-Macon Academy and Virginia STEAM Academy welcomed Kayne and 41 other young regional scholars to a full day of STEAM design-build, mini labs, and deep dive sessions in celebration of Randolph-Macon Academy’s 125th anniversary. Students participated in chemistry, physics, environment and conservation, and biology labs. Students capped the day with a panel discussion co-moderated by a Randolph-Macon Academy eighth grader and a Summer STEAM 2016 Ambassador. On February 25th, Virginia STEAM Academy collaborated with Richard Bland College of William and Mary (RBC) to host a second, free Saturday STEAM intensive on RBC’s campus. Thirty one middle school students tried their hands at coding, chemistry and physics and then participated in a panel discussion with professors and an industry leader. The back-to-back STEAM intensives illustrated Virginia STEAM Academy’s commitment to partnership. In addition to Randolph-Macon Academy and Richard Bland College of William and Mary, Virginia STEAM Academy collaborated with Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, the Center for Excellence in Education, Code VA, Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Friends of the National Zoo, George Mason University Smithsonian School of Conservation, MITRE, Petersburg Public Schools, and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. The goals of the Saturday STEAM intensives were to give students a taste of Summer STEAM, encourage them to apply to Summer STEAM 2017, and provide regional Summer STEAM ambassadors an extended learning opportunity.