JA STEM Summit exposes Penn Manor freshmen to real-world STEM careers

For the third year in a row, Penn Manor High School freshmen got to experience firsthand how science, technology, engineering and math principles are put into practice in STEM careers.

They participated in the Junior Achievement STEM Summit, held Dec. 11 and 12 in the high school gymnasium and classrooms. The day-long program included science experiments, engineering and math competitions and career explorations for every Penn Manor ninth-grader.

Students got to knock cups off each other’s heads by firing smoke rings of air from a giant trash can and pour chemicals into latex gloves, watching the chemical reaction transform them into colorful solid hands. They also were challenged to repair plumbing fixtures, manipulate a 3D printer, conduct medical tests and maneuver motorized robots to stack cones.

Professionals who work in STEM fields volunteered to lead the exercises, and students got to work directly with them to complete activities based on civil engineering, biology, physics, chemistry, design and math principles.

Many thanks to Junior Achievement, which provided the program free of charge to Penn Manor, with the assistance of volunteer professionals and Penn Manor students.

In all, more than 400 students got a taste of STEM in thought-provoking, stimulating ways!