Traditions are a large part of Wooster’s social experience, although they must be open to change when necessary. This is exactly what happened with Wooster’s annual STEM Bash. Usually, students gather in the Knowlton Commons and go table to table with the promise of food and a prize for attending all of the presentations. STEM Bash is a chance for students to learn more about the STEM-focused academic clubs offered on campus.
To accommodate COVID-19 guidelines, this year the STEM Bash became the STEM Bash Scatter. Since we could not all be in one place this year, clubs and organizations centered around STEM were scattered across campus. Astronomy Club, BCMB Club, Biology Club, Chemistry Club, First-Responders, Geo Club, Greenhouse, Math and CSCI Club, MiSTEM, WiSTEM, Neuroscience Club, Physics Club, Pre-Dental Society, Pre-Health Club and the SSI attended with both in-person and virtual activities, club information and, of course, candy handouts. Abbi Tarburton ’23, president of Greenhouse, commented, “This year’s STEM Bash was subject to the circumstances and resources we had. Chemistry Club did experiments with liquid nitrogen and Greenhouse did a recycling game. Attendance was low but the people who came enjoyed it.”
Events like this are crucial to advertising clubs to the students that may be interested. With more students being remote and on-campus events limited, this year it is harder than ever to cultivate interest in doing more STEM outside of STEM classes. A member of the geology club attending the event stated, “It’s harder to recruit this year …. It’s tougher to get to know people in an academic club.” This event helped to bring students of all disciplines and grades together both virtually and in person. With the added incentive of entry into a t-shirt raffle, students were encouraged to visit every club’s station or Teams link and get a code word to submit in the STEM Linktree. Although not what some of us are used to, many students got the opportunity to experience a bit more of what Wooster has to offer in a less than traditional way.