GPS Students Spark Learning at STEM Jubilee

GPS STEM-related clubs hosted three activity booths at Tennessee's largest school-based STEM event.
GPS’s Tucker River Fellows, SWENext Club, and Computer Science Club teamed up to share Jimmy BruiserBot, circuit and generator demos, and a water cycle display—complete with dry ice evaporation and hand-crank generators—with more than 4,000 elementary students at the fifth annual Amazon STEM Jubilee on May 15 and 16 at Chattanooga State Community College.

Deemed the largest school-based STEM activity to ever be hosted in the State of Tennessee, due to this year’s record-breaking attendance, STEM Jubilee serves as an activity fair that introduces elementary students to a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math concepts through hands-on activities with a mission to inspire STEM curiosity and interest. Children who attended this year’s sold-out event experienced student-created, STEM-based activities, games, and challenges at more than 85 booths, three of which were hosted by GPS STEM groups.

Each of the three GPS STEM-related groups—Tucker River Fellows, SWENext (Society of Women Engineers, Next Generation) Club, and Computer Science Club—staffed a table at the two-day extravaganza and provided activities, education, and materials relevant to and representative of its respective club.

Tucker River Fellows displayed a student-created water cycle model that demonstrated each phase of the cycle and included exciting simulations for the precipitation and evaporation phases. The girls offered Water Cycle Bracelets, a bracelet-making station with a colored bead for each water cycle phase.

SWENext Club provided students with the opportunity to produce light by hand cranking a generator connected to the bulb. Computer Science Club introduced Jubilee attendees to the GPS-famous Jimmy BruiserBot.

“It’s so fun to see their reaction to Jimmy BruiserBot because so many of them have never experienced anything like him before,” said Computer Science Club member Meredith Bevill ’20, of the robot that can be coded to do specific movements. In addition to the activities, all three groups distributed colorful new GPS STEM stickers, which proved to be a be a big hit with students and other booth providers.

“I really enjoy teaching the kids,” said Lily Petree ’22, who helped work the SWENext table. “They’re always very excited and energetic to experience the activities we have and learn how they work.”

While GPS STEM teachers and sponsors were present, the GPS booths were fully student-run. “Our girls truly do an amazing job with the kids who come to their tables,” said Mrs. Tracie Marlin Durham ’80, GPS Science Department Chair and STEM Camp instructor. “It’s rewarding to show younger students that STEM is fun!”

The Amazon STEM Jubilee was hosted by STEM School Chattanooga through generous sponsorships by Amazon Fulfillment and First Tennessee. Along with GPS, the Creative Discovery Museum, Signal Mountain Middle High School, the Tennessee Aquarium, UTC, Chattanooga State, and Public Education Foundation also served as partners to fill Chattanooga State’s gym and nearby outdoor area with the 85 booths of enjoyable, STEM-related activities. Elementary schools from around the state bused their children to the site for one of the mornings or afternoons to serve as a field trip experience.