ROGERSVILLE — Cherokee High School raised $1,500 for next year’s robotics team effort during a special event Thursday evening while exposing the community, and future students, to some of the STEM programs currently in progress.
Aside from teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses in the classroom, Cherokee also offers multiple clubs, organizations and extracurricular activities that utilize STEM components which were on display Thursday night.
Cherokee Vice Principal Rebecca Hunley said Thursday’s STEM Night held in the school cafeteria had multiple goals.
An all you can eat spaghetti fundraiser and silent auction benefited the robotics team, which hopes to compete in more than one event next year.
STEM Night was also an opportunity to acknowledge and express appreciation to the school’s business and industrial partners who help support programs such as the robotics team.
And it was an opportunity for students to show off some of their STEM projects.
Hunley noted, however, that the event was also intended to help familiarize the community — and particularly middle school parents and students — with what STEM is and why it is such an important part of the curriculum.
“Every occupation uses one, if not several, of those STEM components,” Hunley said. “We want to expose the community to what the workforce is looking for, colleges and tech schools, and the skills that students will need to be successful.”
Coming off its best ever seventh place finish two weeks ago at the FIRST Robotics regional competition in Knoxville, Cherokee’s Fellowship of the Springs team put on a demonstration with its latest creation as part of Thursday’s event.
Other displays and demonstrations featured the Cherokee solar go-kart, which will be competing in a regional event at Bristol Motor Speedway; various AP biology experiments involving photosynthesis; and a variety of all-natural uses for honeybee products such as soap, lip balm and salve, courtesy of the Sustainability Club.
Rogersville Middle School science teacher Lawrence Nussio had a display featuring his school’s VEX Robot program, where students build and operate smaller robots out of Legos and Erector Sets.
Nussio noted that the program not only prepares students for entering robotics and the STEM curriculum in high school, but it also teaches a variety practical applications, such as bomb disposal for law enforcement.
One of the most popular attractions was the HTC VIVE virtual reality machine brought in by parent Craig Belcher. Students had an opportunity to tour the inside of a human body using the virtual vision goggles and two handheld controllers.