March 30, 2018
The Lions Club recently presented a check to Dr. Quanda Watson-Stevenson, founder and chair of the Y.E.A. (Youth Education and Awareness), for the upcoming Y.E.A.: STEAM with AMSTI Conference that will be held at Athens State University. Dr. Stevenson received a $1,000 community mini-grant from the organization to help support local STEAM endeavors. The check was presented by two Lions Club representatives, Henry and Marsha White.
Upon notification of the donation, Dr. Stevenson was thrilled and stated that the mini-grant would help provide STEAM services, materials, and food for the conference. She truly appreciates the Lions Club for their generous donation, saying, “My heart is overjoyed when I see children, teachers, and families having a great time together! I know we are all providing great resources and services to the community when children are smiling, learning, and playing. I enjoy seeing boys and girls playing with STEAM activities and projects. I know then that our society’s future is bright!”
The conference, held annually at Athens State, has been teaching more than 200 students across North Alabama about science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) for almost 5 years. In addition to STEAM subjects, kids in grades K-12 are also educated about forensics, reading, health and nutrition, and leadership through interactive activities designed to challenge their minds and abilities. Students are also given the opportunity to showcase their talents through innovation, creativity, and skill sets by presenting and modeling STEAM projects. This year’s conference will include activities such as drone simulations, app games, Lego and Play-Doh activities, forensics, criminalistics, and computer program games. AMSTI will be collaborating with the event by providing all STEAM competition designs and materials.
The event has also created interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty and students at Athens State in the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, and College of Education. Participating personnel are given the opportunity to conduct research, complete internship hours, host training and workshops, gain hands-on learning, enhance classroom learning, and serve children and families in the community. Athens State students are able to volunteer at the Y.E.A. Conference and assist Dr. Stevenson with research projects by collecting data from the program participants and performing data analysis.
This year’s Y.E.A.: STEAM with AMSTI Conference is scheduled to occur on April 3 from 9 am to 1:30 pm in the Carter Gym. Dr. Stevenson’s research and design of the Y.E.A. Conference has been accepted for presentation at the 2018 Hawaii University International Conferences on STEM/STEAM and Education. The two presentations and workshops are entitled, “Community Garden: An Interdisciplinary STEM Project,” and “A Glance at a Youth STEM/STEAM Conference in Alabama.”