Woodbury STEM Night brings fun science, robotics activities to students

Woodbury WEB

A family works together to form a DNA strand out of candy at Thursday’s Woodbury STEM Night.

Woodbury Elementary School students and families enjoyed an evening of learning Thursday at the school’s first ever STEM Night. 

The students had several activities to choose from, including hands-on experiences with robotics. They also learned about DNA from the Iowa State University Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program. 

The robotics area included tablets which allowed students to control where a ball-shaped robot rolled on the floor, as well as a coding activity where students – and plenty of parents – controlled how tiny robots scurried across a piece of paper. 

The Marshalltown High School BotCats student group was also on hand to talk about some of their robotics projects, and officials from Central Rivers Area Education Agency  supported the robotics activities Thursday. 

In another classroom, two Iowa State University students from the WISE program used licorice and gummy candies to teach the students about the different parts of a DNA strand. Using toothpicks, students stuck the gummies and licorice together and formed them into the DNA double-helix shape. 

“I think it’s very important for parents to know these are things they can look into for their child,” said Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) Full Service Bilingual Site Coordinator Tania Fonseca.

Fonseca is one of the MICA coordinators working at MCSD elementary schools through the federal Full Service Community Schools grant program

In addition to WISE, Central Rivers AEA and the BotCats, officials from the Marshall County Auditor and Recorder’s office were also present at Woodbury STEM Night. They presented information about voting in Marshall County to students and parents. 

“I’m really happy that all of our partners joining us tonight have worked very collaboratively with us,” Fonseca said.