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STEM Room opens at Boys & Girls Club


October 24, 2013

Lindsay Brown

Chris Reed works with students at the Boys and Girls Club of the Hi-Line on an experiment to deconstruct water particles and then recombining the elements back into water. Reed teaches students in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Center.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line showed off its new STEM Room Wednesday night, with youngsters explaining what they learned about science in the room.

STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - is designed to attract young people into fields that Americans have lagged behind in the world market, said Rachel Dean, the club's endowment director.

The program had a "soft opening" over the summer, and the room was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday night.

Among other things, students learn about chemicals and how different substances combine, she said.

Chris Reed, a Montana State University-Northern student who worked at the club over the summer, led the class in combining different recipes, slightly changing the ingredients to see what a difference the change can make, Dean explained.

They also conducted density experiments, mixing water, honey, oil and dishwater detergent.

But robotics proved to be among the most popular experiments, she said. Students designed robots that could perform tasks - such as carrying a ball from one end of the room to another.

The Boys & Girls Club staff has been impressed with the variety of students interested in the program - different ages and genders - she said.

The room was built in part with a $13,000 grant from the BNSF Railway foundation, and new carpeting was provided by Herberger's, she said.


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