Quick Connect Weekly Newsletter
January 8, 2024

Spark STEM Conference

Resource Training & Solutions proudly hosted our annual Spark STEM student conference at St. Cloud State University on Thursday, January 4, 2024.

This year marks the 18th consecutive year that we've organized a science conference for 3rd to 8th graders. The college campus was abuzz with over 650 future mathematicians, engineers, and computer programmers from across central Minnesota.

Students were provided with the opportunity to ignite their scientific curiosity and unleash their creativity in over 20 hands-on STEM sessions. Participants selected four sessions from a wide spectrum of possibilities, spanning geology, cryogenics, robotics, coding, biology, snakes, lasers, and much more. Presenters guided students through each session, ensuring a captivating and educational experience for all.

Some of the noteworthy session topics included:

  • Cryogenics: The Science of the Ultracold - Explore the realm of ultra-cold temperatures. Delve into the various states of matter and discover how dry ice and liquid nitrogen impact objects, led by Jeff Payne from 3M Visiting Wizards.
  • Pew Pew Pew! Can a Laser Vaporize Metal? - Engage in an interactive workshop where students learn about laser safety, ablation, the vaporization of solids, and even have the opportunity to use a high-energy laser! Led by John Sinko, PhD, from St. Cloud State University.
  • How to Tell an Agate vs. Amethyst - In this session, students learn how to identify different rocks and minerals and understand their formation within the Earth. Led by Michael De Luca, Geologist.
  • Create with AI - This hands-on session provides students with an overview of Artificial Intelligence and its workings. Participants also get to create simulations with AI and code editors. Led by Valerie Lockhart, Executive Director of Code Savvy.
  • Snake, Rattle, & Roll - Slither into the world of reptiles by meeting various species that call Minnesota home! From diet to habitat and behavior, attendees learn what makes our cold-blooded friends unique in this engaging program. Both kids and adults have the opportunity to touch (and even hold) the animals for a truly hands-on experience! Led by Sam Todd of Snake Discovery.
  • And much more!

Resource Training & Solutions wants to thank all the presenters and volunteers who played vital roles in the success of this years conference. Your enthusiasm and support not only enriched the educational experience but also made it thoroughly enjoyable.

To learn more about our Spark STEM Conference visit our website and/or check out the photos captured throughout the event.

For more information please contact Alison Orgaard, CTE Manager at aorgaard@resourcecoop-mn.gov.