STEM workshop opens doors of possibility

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A couple of weeks ago, I decided to attend a training session for Upward Bound students at Wilson Community College. Upward Bound is a program for high school students who will be the first in their family to attend college in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. It’s a great program that provides academic tutoring, assistance with course selection and so much more at no cost.

This particular Saturday I was scheduled to attend a basketball game to watch my oldest son play. When the opportunity to attend this event focused on STEM, I decided that I owed it to our children and community to find out more about the subject.

I’m so glad that I made the decision to go to the STEM event.

I met James Carr, Director of TRIO Programs for Wilson Community College and a member of his team. After the event, I spoke to the presenters, Jacques Smith and Toya Wilson. They discussed the growth of opportunities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

My favorite part was the stories each one of the presenters shared on their personal STEM career journey. We finished the day with the students in attendance working on learning how to create a mobile app with code.

The students were engaged with answering and asking questions throughout the session. They wanted to know about different careers and what to expect from their college experience. After the workshop was over, several of the students wanted to ask even more questions to Mr. Smith and Ms. Wilson.

I knew STEM was growing in popularity. However, I didn’t know about all of the avenues that existed for my children to begin learning more about subjects like technology and engineering outside of school. This workshop truly opened my eyes. I recommended that a workshop like this be conducted for parents as well.

My wife and I often enroll our children in sports activities like soccer and basketball during summer breaks. This year, I think they will be doing something different.

Thank you to Mr. Smith and Ms. Wilson for sharing their time, STEM knowledge and experience with us. A special thank you goes to the Wilson Community College TRIO program for all that you do for the children in our community.

Wayne Willingham