Families learn about STEM at magnet school in Lake City

November 9, 2018

LAKE CITY, S.C. – Students and families of J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School in Lake City participated in hands-on activities Thursday evening at Family STEM Night.

Julie Huggins, J. Paul Truluck’s magnet school site coordinator, said Thursday’s event was to engage and empower families in the learning.

“We wanted to showcase what our students engage in every day at school,” Huggins said. “And so, parents were able to come out to experience activities and projects that students have already completed before, but also to extend their learning even further.”

Huggins said it is an exciting time at of J. Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School, which began the magnet program this year.

Parents and students participated in projects such as designing pyramids using toothpicks and marshmallows and learning how a 3-D printer works.

Nick Reinberg, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at the school, said he thinks family engagement and support at home, plus events such as Family STEM Night, lead to success within the school and are the foundation for a successful child.

“I think with these events, they kind of propel students to the next level of thinking and support,” Reinberg said.

Reinberg led Thursday’s STEM activity in which students and parents created pyramids using marshmallows and toothpicks. Families created the pyramids freehandedly.

STEM has been incorporated into Reinberg’s social studies standards.

“Part of the River Valley civilizations is Egypt,” Reinberg said. “And part of any good civilization comes their architecture and their innovations and inventions. And one of the biggest lasting impacts Egypt had was their architecture and innovations and pyramids — kind of the pharaohs’ grand gesture of control.”

Christine Wilson attended Family STEM Night Thursday with her sons.

“It’s enjoyable, and it’s a learning experience, as well,” Wilson said. “You learn something new every day.”

Seventh-grade student Chance Carden said some students at the school have completed STEM projects already this year, including making a brace to help the feet of people with spastic hemiplegia.

Carden said being able to have Family STEM Night was cool.

“It’s really cool because it makes us feel like we’re not just the ones doing it,” Carden said. “It makes us feel like we’re connected with the community.”

Carden’s mother, Kathi Carden, said she enjoyed Family STEM Night Thursday because her children are scientifically minded.

“So it’s really great that they have a school now that encourages that,” Kathi Carden said. “That it’s not just sitting down and reading a book, that you’re actually doing activities to learn how it works rather than just reading about.”

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