Alternative Breaks have been an amazing way to get engaged with the issues that affect many populations around the nation and give CMU students the opportunity to educate themselves and actively go out and put in the work to create change. This program has impacted me in so many ways and I am forever grateful to be involved in this program!
This past winter break, I had the opportunity to travel to Aurora, Illinois and volunteer with Buena Vista STEAM Academy and SciTech Hands on Museum! Now I know you’re thinking what is STEAM? This stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. It seems similar to STEM but the community is shifting towards using STEAM due to the critical thought process that art provides and how it can be utilized in all categories in the word STEAM.
Working with our community partners has provided me with the knowledge and passion for the science field and a want to educate those around me about the endless opportunities that could come from it. AT the STEAM academy we were able to volunteer with the students in their STEAM class and work with up-and-coming technology and learning tools such as Osmo Pizza Kitchen, Strawbees, Cubettes, Marshmallow towers and other technology. It was amazing to see the knowledge and excitement these students had coming to this class everyday!
The SciTech museum was amazing because it provides a way for anyone and everyone regardless of age to learn about science and how it plays in the world and the environment and technology we even use today. We got to work with the museum staff and build science carts that they will use at schools and school groups coming in to the museum. That was fun to learn about the science of what we were making AND build facilitation skills practicing it in front of students as well. By the end of this trip, we learned a lot about the community and the positive impacts STEAM education can provide for others.