A year ago, the North Platte public school board agreed to recognize student activities at the monthly board meetings, and they did so Monday.

Supt. Dr. Todd Rhodes said the top administrators and board have yet to be consistent with the student spotlights, but will strive to have more this coming year.  

February’s Student Spotlight focused on the STEM program at McDonald Elementary. Ryder DeWitt, Oaklynn Ross, McKay Anderson, Romy Murrish, and Blakeley Geisler gave a short presentation on what STEM means to them.

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Top photo by Kristi Smith, from left: Blakeley Geisler, Oaklynn Ross, Mrs. Flanders, Romy Murrish, Ryder DeWitt and McKay Anderson.

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The initials STEM stand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, Anderson said.

Ross started the presentation, explaining that STEM is a way to incorporate concepts they learn in school into everyday life. DeWitt and Geisler demonstrated a skill they learned at the STEM club. Using the Artie 3000 robot, DeWitt and Geisler showed how programming the robot uses mathematical and technological skills.

DeWitt programmed his Artie robot to draw a star, and Geisler’s robot drew a circle. Anderson said he can express his creativity at STEM and have a chance to work with others and share ideas. Ross said STEM has helped her learn to think outside the box with limited materials. 

Board President JoAnn Lundgreen asked the students if STEM had made them think of jobs they hadn’t thought of before. Anderson said it depends on how interesting the jobs are to him.

Lundgreen then asked what activities they had enjoyed at STEM. Anderson said he enjoyed graphing out the design for their fence mural. Ross said the marble roller coaster was fun yet challenging. DeWitt said his favorite activity was separating oil from water, like cleaning up an oil spill. 

Ryder DeWitt, center, and Blakeley Geisler demonstrate Artie 3000 for Board Member Angela Blaesi.

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