Categorized | Education

It’s a STEMpede at Parker School

Using willing volunteer Parker student Trevor Bastien, Hawaii Life Flight nurses show students how they ready an injured person for transport. (Photo courtesy of Parker School)


On April 27, Parker School hosted STEMpede, an afternoon dedicated to exposing students to an array of professional possibilities in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

“It’s been a goal of mine to expose our students to STEM careers, especially engineering,” said Parker math and science teacher Patricia Kassis. “So when this opportunity arose, I was happy to plan the event. I think some professions are always visible to students, and I’m delighted that other professions see it as part of their job description to share their work with students, and this gave the students a chance to learn about the other technical fields – the exciting careers that are usually invisible to students.”

More than 18 presenters, most from Waimea, visited Parker to share about their particular professions, and included: dentist and Parker parent Brian Kubo; orthopedic surgeon and Parker parent Diane Payne; astronomers Jim Lyke, Marc Kassis (also a Parker parent), and Jim Stockton; midwife and Parker parent Robin Ramsay; sleep researcher Gail Nielsen; ocean engineer Eric Brager; structural engineer Lori Kindervader; physical therapists Kelly Hoyle (also a Parker parent) and Sarah Davis; mechanical engineer Ean James; and flight nurse and Parker parent Kim Bastien.

The guests presented individually and also took part in panels, which allowed more time to take student questions.

Kassis was “astounded at how easily I recruited volunteers – most said yes immediately, without reservation. Many of the students expressed their gratitude for the opportunity, and the presenters have also sought me out to thank the school for the opportunity we provided them. We produced this great event that benefited everyone.”

In creating the STEMpede event, Parker School joins the nationwide effort to encourage US students to explore and pursue futures in STEM careers.

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