Students at J.V. Humphries (JVH) school in Kaslo have spent the year circumventing one another while at school, keeping to their grade level cohorts, in adherence with social distancing protocols. For this small close-knit school community, it’s been a hard year.
This past winter, two JVH students, Emma LeCouffe and Faye Petersen, were motivated to find a unique way to bring the whole school together, at least in spirit. This month, J.V. Humphries school will host its first ever school-wide STEAM fair (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Technology).
All grade level classes are participating in some capacity and have been working towards the STEAM fair for months. Project submissions included everything from building rollercoasters, hovercrafts and Rube Goldberg machines to researching the effects of light on the human body and how our brains process fear!
Inspired by intermediate grade Science Olympics, Emma and Faye chose to broaden their leadership project idea into a school-wide, multi-disciplined event.
“We wanted to do something really cool that our entire school could do to stay connected,” said Grade 12 student LeCouffe.
Petersen, a Grade 11 student, added: “We also saw it as something for everyone to look forward to.”
The school has set aside the entire day for this event, which is not open to the public, beginning in the morning with classes circulating through the gymnasium where poster boards and project stations will be on display and the judging will take place. The two leadership students organized the fair to be officiated, taking responsibility for selecting judges and designing parameters and a marking rubric for submissions.
“Even faced with evolving protocols and the challenges COVID has presented, these two students have shown incredible initiative, creativity and resilience,” said principal Victoria McAllister, “They have thought through every challenge and organized every detail. I am so proud of them!”
With a generous grant from the J.V. Humphries Parent Advisory Council, prizes will be awarded to winners in each STEAM discipline, as well as overall and student choice categories. Some very thoughtful creativity has gone into selecting the prizes and will include a hydraulic hand, spheros, robot kits, and even a 3D printing pen! One lucky student will walk away with a $100 cheque to buy a STEAM-related item of their choice.
In the afternoon, primary and intermediate classes will engage in classroom STEAM activities for additional prizes, while the high school students have their choice of STEAM workshops to attend. The final activity for the day is being called, ‘Nye & Pi,’ where students will be treated to a piece of pie, while watching a Bill Nye the Science Guy video.
For LeCouffe and Petersen, the STEAM fair this month will be the culmination of many, many hours of dedicated planning and problem solving. And for the rest of the school community, perhaps the altruistic vision of these two ambitious students, will become the start of a new school tradition!