EAST ROCKINGHAM — If the excitement and participation of students is an indicator of a healthy school, East Rockingham Elementary is on the right track.
Smiles and squeals of amazement were witnessed at every turn during the recent science festival.
The K-5 school hosted the local event sponsored by the BIOGEN Foundation and Duke Energy Thursday evening.
The North Carolina Science Festival aims to make learning about science fun. According to its website: “This Festival provides the opportunity to cultivate a positive environment that encourages children to pursue science-related careers and encourages businesses to invest in North Carolina.”
East Rockingham Elementary was one of 170 North Carolina elementary schools selected to host a Duke Energy Science Night in 2019.
As the graphic below indicates, job opportunities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics are increasing at a much greater pace than the overall job growth trend.
Graph provided by U.S. Department of Education
Students were introduced to robot machines, coding, flammable bubbles, 3-D printing, gas-powered rockets and high-tech drones to name just a few of the offerings during the evening. EMS, the fire department and the local forestry service were also on hand with displays for the event.
“The festival was great and response to the event was overwhelming,” said principal Jamie Greene. “The children and their parents had a great time and it was a fun night of learning.”
Yolanda Sawyer, event organizer and teacher at East Rockingham said the event began in 2017.
“I like science and I wanted the students to be exposed to the different subjects like science, engineering and technology,” she said. “We need students equipped to fill jobs in these fields. I thought it would be a good way to bring the community together at the same time.”