You scroll through the club day file, looking for clubs that you’re interested in. One club, STEM in Action, piques your interest, so you click on the introduction video. It seems like a great opportunity to learn more about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), especially since you couldn’t take one of the STEM classes you wanted to take this year. After learning even more about the club through their Instagram page, you log onto the first meeting, excited to see what’s in store.
STEM in Action is a new club formed by sophomores Maya Martono and Megan Chui with the help of chemistry teacher, Cassi Porter, with the desire to help students begin their pursuits towards STEM careers. They realized that Miramonte didn’t have a club dedicated to STEM that had a service or volunteer aspect, so they decided to create one.
The club has both a learning and a teaching component to it. Currently, there are four STEM teams club members can choose from; biology and environmental science, computer science, engineering, and math, each with at least 6 team members. Each team works on fun projects or events, such as an upcoming webinar series that will talk about unconventional STEM topics and career paths that can be pursued.
“I started this club with my Megan because we were both really passionate about helping others. I think it’s a bit of our nature that we strive to be useful and helpful in some shape or form. I personally want to stick with STEM after high school, so a club like this was the perfect way for me to be able to combine two of my passions,” Martono said.
“Many students are interested in different STEM subjects, but they might not get the chance to take as many classes as they’d like. This club is a place where students who are passionate about STEM can learn and collaborate with each other,” Chui said. The club meets twice a month during Tuesdays at lunch through Porter’s zoom meeting.
“STEM in Action wants to really help bring STEM to the community in a variety of ways. I think we really want to help ignite a passion for STEM fields in others and help them explore all they have to offer. That is the ultimate goal,” Porter, who is the club’s advisor, said. “STEM is of the utmost importance. It is critical as we continue to evolve and exist in this world. We need these subjects to help us find answers to tough questions, such as about climate change, and to find answers to questions we don’t even know yet.”
STEM in Action has some big plans for the future. According to Martono, they hope to partner up with a bilingual elementary school in the Oakland Unified School District in order to help teachers focus on topics that are taught less often in elementary school, such as engineering or coding. They’ve also talked about a potential “finale” project for this year that will hopefully be a science fair. They are already looking into ways they can partner with local educational organizations for prizes and sponsor the fair.
“Obviously I am a little biased but I do think that STEM is a big part of our future. I think that no matter who you are, it is always important to have at least a basic understanding of the world around you, and STEM plays an integral part in that. Technology is evolving. The climate is changing. There are new advancements in medicine daily. Math is everywhere. In today’s world, it is vital that we learn what is happening around us,” Martono said.
The first meeting is nearing its end. STEM in Action is definitely interesting to you and you’ve decided to plan on going to future meetings. The future plans are promising and the dynamic of the club is something you’d like to see more of. Looking forward for the next meeting, you log off of the zoom.