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University Partners Promote ‘Language Of Possibility’ at Annual STEM Night

By: Brady W Moore   Published 8:30 am / October 4, 2017

The third annual Garfield Family STEM Night, held Sept. 27, brought over 500 students, families, educators and the public together at Garfield Elementary to learn about and engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics activities.

Elyssa Williams, a Boise State elementary education student, guides a STEM night participant through the Mobile App Creation lab.

In collaboration with Garfield Elementary, the event was presented by Boise State’s College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Engineering, as well as several community partners including Micron, Idaho Power, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Boise Astronomical Society.

Julianne A. Wenner, an assistant professor for the College of Education who helped organize the event, said she believes it’s important for students and their families to know that the STEM field is open to everyone.

Garfield Elementary currently includes 18 languages represented in the student population and has a refugee population represented at all different stages of arrival. “This event is about showing students and families that the community is invested in them,” said Wenner.

Wenner’s co-organizer, Sonia Galaviz, a fifth-grade teacher at Garfield Elementary and a Boise State doctoral student in the College of Education, said she and Wenner “believe in promoting the ‘language of possibility’ for students and we hope the event empowers them towards statements like ‘I’m good at math,’ ‘I could join an after-school STEM club,’ and ‘I could build a robot.’”

“Garfield Family STEM Night is a wonderful example of excellence in community relations and partnerships” said Rich Osguthorpe, dean of the College of Education. “The event fulfills its promise to bring real educational value to students, and it also provides an opportunity for volunteers to display their caring commitment to equitable learning possibilities for all children.”

The annual event is extremely popular with hundreds of students and their families attending. Boise State organizations from across campus hosted 11 different rooms with a range of activities.