Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a.k.a S.T.E.M., programs are intimidating and competitive at many colleges. Here at Wooster, we strive to create an inclusive and collaborative community where students are pushed academically, but also have support and guidance at their sides. This is achieved through the S.T.E.M. Success Initiative (S.S.I.) here on campus, as well as many clubs and extracurricular activities that create a welcoming environment. The S.S.I. is a community of students, faculty, and staff working to promote a “diverse and inclusive S.T.E.M. learning community, integrating students, faculty, and staff to support student success.” For those who are not familiar with this initiative, you might have heard of the S.T.E.M. Zone, a campus resource where any student taking introductory science or math courses can go to seek help on class material or work on their own.
One of the S.S.I.’s annual events, the S.T.E.M. Bash is coming up on Oct. 3 from 1-3p.m. The S.T.E.M. Zone Coordinator, Kara Melrose, shares her excitement and explains what activities will be at this event “The S.T.E.M. Bash is an event where all S.T.E.M. clubs/groups on campus have a chance to get together and celebrate their common interest and love for all things S.T.E.M.-related. Each club has fun activities planned to highlight their area of interest, and students can come enjoy the festivities, eat food, win prizes, and hang out. This is the seventh year of the S.T.E.M. Bash and each year we’ve had different clubs, activities and locations of the event, but every year it has been a blast.” Melrose expects a turnout of about 100-150 students this year. Each student participating in the Bash will receive a punch card and be able to earn a check of completion each time they complete an activity. Students with all the activities checked off will be entered into a raffle for a soft, cozy S.T.E.M. Zone t-shirt.
When asking Kara what her main goal for the event is, she responded, “Ultimately the goal is for students to have fun and feel a sense of community and belonging within the STEM community.” To make this possible, Melrose said that she plans on inviting faculty, S.S.I. board members, and S.T.E.M. staff to join the Bash..
Clubs that will be participating in the S.T.E.M. bash this year include: the S.T.E.M. Success Initiative, Astronomy Club, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club, Chemistry Club, Geology Club, Greenhouse Club, Environmental Justice Coalition, Student Mathematical Association, Minorities in S.T.E.M., Neuroscience Club, National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Physics Club, Pre-Health Club, Wooster Women in S.T.E.M, and Wooster Women & Gender Minorities in Economics.
One of our newest clubs on campus, Wooster Women and Gender Minorities in Economics, will be hosting a game based around microeconomics and game theory. Here, students will learn about miscoordination and the pure strategy Nash equilibria. The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club will be hosting a multitude of activities, including learning how to pipette and create a mosaic, and building DNA from Twizzlers.
Some clubs can give you a more personalized experience and are identity-based, such as Minorities in S.T.E.M., which contributes to the diverse set of groups represented at this more intimate and personalized Scot Spirit Day. S.S.I. Program Intern Emma Davidson ’22 sums it up well, as she hopes, “students can be exposed to all kinds of S.T.E.M. interests while meeting like-minded peers and building a supportive community in S.T.E.M.”