The Fairbanks Museum's STEM Lab

lab2ST. JOHNSBURY- The Fairbanks Museum's STEM Lab is fairly new and exciting in the world of science. For some people science seems bleak and boring, for others it's like jumping into a new universe. Leila Nordmann who is the Director of the STEM Lab at the Museum has a deeper understanding as to what happens inside the labs.

The STEM lab started in 2018 and began with a starter program of students doing "authentic" experimental science. Nordmann explained that, these students would enter the lab and figure out what experiment would have unknown outcomes. The general idea for the lab was that the students would learn teh tools and skills that they needed to have the ability to write a scientific paper. The scientific papers would be based on research and experimentation that would have been completed eith in the lab or had connected with the lab at the Academy of Sciences at the Crossroads Academy in Lyme New Hampshire. Crossroads Academy gave the STEM lab most of the equipment along with training to have the ability to help the students who come to the lab and take classes at the musuem.

The STEM lab has some groups of students that come every Wednesday for a total of 21 weeks where they will complete projects and consists of two different two hour classes, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Nordmann said that for local school such as the St. Johnsbury School's sixth garde will be coming to the lab during the week of November 11th. They will be having one class in the lab as well as dealing with onion cells using the microscopes provided. These students will be using the tool and build up up their skills to be able to fully understand what they are exactly seeing.

Leila Nordmann stated, "For camps, we actually had a drone camp, engineering style camp and then we've also had an afterschool and hopefully a camp program coming up that is programming and electronics... We're trying to cover science technology, engineering and mathematics."

On one Saturday once a month for three hours, local students will meet in the STEM lab at the Fairbanks Museum to learn and discuss math with Daisy McCoy, who is a Mathematics professor at the Northern Vermont University in Lyndonville. These students, during these discussions have the opportunity to talk about mathematics realting to current events or basically, in general terms and theories to learn more about.

Nordmann explained, "We are raising rare orchids called Showy Lady's Slipper and it's something that's found in Vermont but only in two bogs. Some people might have them locally... they're pretty rare plants."

According to Leila Nordmann, the STEM lab at the museum has been learning how to raise those orchids and the students have been trying continue this work in the lab in Lyme New Hampshire.

Nordmann said, "In February four students will present their scientific papers to the Americab Junior Scientific Association, that's like the highest honors you have pre-collegiate, We're trying to align with the curriculum but be able to use the scientific tools we have access to use."

The STEM Lab at the Fairbanks Museum has an Open House on November 14th from 4 to 6 pm. On November 21st, the STEM lab has Northeast Kingdom Entrepreneurship Week going on from 4 to 6pm.

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