Standing in the middle of Klyde Warren Park on Saturday, 10-year-old Grace Raby picked up another colored bead to complete her handmade suncatcher. Music filled the air as she held up her creation with a big smile on her face, proud that she made something special and useful.
Raby was one of the hundreds of students who came to the Celebrate STEM in the Park event to have fun learning about the different applications of science, technology, engineering, and math.
“I like science and I like engineering because you can do whatever you want and it’s really, really fun to see what you create.”
“I like science and I like engineering because you can do whatever you want and it’s really, really fun to see what you create,” Raby said.
STEM in the Park was hosted by Millennials for STEM, a foundation of the Dallas Millennial Club. The event had different STEM zones such as robotics or VR for parents and students in grades kindergarten to 12th to experience the different aspects of STEM in a fun, engaging way.
“I was so excited, I was probably was one of the first people to register for it,” Grace’s mom, Bennetta Raby, said. “I just love the fact that we live in a city that is really taking an active approach to putting these kinds of events out.”
The event sponsors like iFly, Dallas Independent School District, and iCode made up the different STEM zones in which students could engage.
“The whole point of us being here at this event is to make it attainable, not just for kids but for all ages,” Nicole Baughman, sales coordinator for iFly said.
“The whole point of us being here at this event is to make it attainable, not just for kids but for all ages.”
To make these fun applications of STEM accessible, local STEM camp scholarships ranging from $300 to $500 were awarded to 12 students.
“We know that there is a need for STEM careers and people to fill those,” Oswaldo Alvarenga, executive director of STEM Departments for DISD, said. “We have 160,000 students in Dallas, they are very capable of filling those jobs and we need to prepare them to fill those jobs so when they leave here they think of STEM as a career for themselves.”
The Dallas Millennial Club’s mission to showcase the power of STEM and empower the next generation not only has caught the attention of the community but also of the important leaders who have helped build the city.
“Education is what it’s all about, that’s the future,” Jody Grant, chairman and co-founder of Klyde Warren Park said. “We need to have science, technology, engineering, and math, they’re going to be the people who are going to have the important jobs in the future and we need them in Dallas and we love having them in the park.”
DALLAS MILLENNIAL CLUB: BREAKING THE STEREOTYPE
The Dallas Millennial Club, was founded two years ago for the purpose of creating an opportunity for millennials to serve in the Dallas community.
“Our whole goal is to provide a unique opportunity for this age group to participate together,” Christiana Yebra, co-founder and vice president of marketing for the Dallas Millennial Club, said. “Instead of excluding and making this feel like an exclusive group, we wanted to make it feel inclusive, a group that you’d want to be a part of.”
The club puts on monthly events to focus on serving the community by pouring into the next generation, especially the future of STEM. For the Dallas Millennial Club, hosting the STEM in the Park event was something that fit well with its mission.
“We want to show the city of Dallas that as millennials, we care.”
“By hosting a big event that is very service-driven it gives our members the opportunity to serve on the board and to be able to help plan out this event which will allow them to create more impact in this community,” club President Noble Madu said.
The impact of the work the Dallas Millennial Club is doing was displayed through the turnout and impact of STEM in the Park. It was a big event, but it’s just the beginning for the club’s initiative to engage the Dallas STEM community and give millennials a chance to serve others.
“We want to show the city of Dallas that as millennials, we care,” Madu said. “We are here, we are involved in the community, we care now and we’re doing something in the city to show that.”
Photos by Yvena Chowdhury
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