BAILEYSVILLE, WV (WVNS) – Thursday, December 9, 2021, was a fun filled day of science activities for middle school students in Wyoming County.

Guests from the West Virginia Department of Education, the Public Education Cosortium and WVU visited students in Baileysville with ‘Science Lunchboxes’ that were used to teach the kids hands-on lessons about problem solving and critical thinking.

“What we’re doing is just unveiling to these kids the students the wonders of STEAM,” said STEAM-TAC Specialist Cliff Sullivan. “STEAM fields, STEAM lessons, and the hands-on learning that these kids are craving.”

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Some might say those are tough subjects for kids, but the STEAM TAC specialists use a hands-on teaching method to make kids see, even hard subjects like math and science can be fun.

“We made a helicopter using potential and kinetic energy with a rubber band,” explained 6th grader Brayden Hillbrook. “And you twist it up and you throw it in the air, because of the tension in the rubber band makes it fly.”

Baileysville students also learned about chemical reactions, using water, oil and alka seltzer to make homemade lava lamps.

STEAM TAC specialists believe in teaching real world problem solving and critical thinking skills that will help students be qualified for any career they want.

“STEAM employment is going to grow 8% by 2029, as opposed to 3.4% in every other field,” said Cliff Sullivan. And also the average salary is $86,000 compared to $40,000 in other fields. So we’re trying to show these kids that their future can be a lot brighter if they incorporate some of these ideas and lessons into their pathway in life.”