STEM classes encourage greater achievement in science and technology
Daegu American High School students work on an animation design as Career Technology instructor, Mr. Loyd Phillips, looks on. The training supports the STEM program--an initiative that focuses on enhancing student competitiveness in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can lift a nation to high levels of achievement. In history, a nation which had a strong foundation in these fields, realized its national prosperity. Today, such an achievement is still possible. It is for that reason many countries encourage their youth to embrace the challenges of science. Understanding the importance of this charge, on U.S. Army Garrison Daegu's Camp Walker, members of Daegu High School (DHS) gathered in the school cafeteria to kick off the opening ceremony marking the beginning of STEM Week, April 21-25.

An initiative spearheaded by U.S. President Barack Obama, Kim Smaw, vice principal, DHS, explained what STEM week is, and the purpose of this event.

"The basis of this event is that Americans are losing ground in the field of STEM," Smaw said. "We are not putting out the number of people that need to major in these fields to continue to compete in the technological world. We are falling so far behind. So, this initiative by the President is to get all of us engaged in the process of STEM, to get our students interested in it, and to get our teachers trained in it so they can provide more interesting activities to our children, and be able to forge ahead to get us where we need to be in the world where we compete with other countries. That is the purpose of STEM."

Throughout the week, diverse classes associated with the STEM initiative were presented. 'Solar cars and Tower building', 'Architecture and Engineering' and 'Crime Scene Investigation' were among those highlighted. Career Technology class instructor Loyd Phillips explained his "animation" class.

"The game animation technology course allows students through computer-technologically, learn the fundamentals of building their own games," Phillips said. "Students have a great time doing this and they actually learn close industry standard skills that enable them to make good games."

Adding to the STEM week were Soldiers from the 36th Signal Battalion, which is located on Camp Walker. Their visit was an opportunity to help the students get excited about new and upcoming technology.

"In this course, we give a lecture to students on Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN). It is a chance to see how the internet really works." said 2nd Lt. Daniel Park, 36th Sig. Bn. "The lecture is built for students who don't have too much of a background in networking. We are covering a wide area of information at a very basic user level." He went on to express how as Soldiers, it is their pleasure to assist the students. "It is always good to get back to the community, and see that a lot of kids here are affiliated with the military. This is the most valuable chance for us to come out and show what 36th Sig. Bn. does, and that is what we are out here to do."

On the second day of STEM week, DHS students were joined by Korean students from Daegu's Yeongnam Technical High School, which has a long-standing partenrship with the high school. The two schools came together top share organized scientific activities. Since some activities such as natural dyeing and soldering to make a radio were unfamiliar to the American students, DHS students welcomed training and guidance from the Yeongnam students on how it's done.

"This is an unforgettable experience to meet Korean students." said Shawn White, 10th grade student of DHS, who played the role as translator between Korean and American students. "By having time together and learning what Korean students are like, we get to know how well we are working together."

The remainder of STEM Week was full of activities. When several students were asked how they felt about STEM, they seemed to echo similar sentiments -- calling the experience a great opportunity to learn and become more aware of the importance of STEM to the school curriculum, to the student, and to the future of America.

Page last updated Tue May 13th, 2014 at 00:00