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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle High InSPIRESS young minds with STEM education

By Jaylin Daniel 

For the Enquirer 

On Oct. 25, Hartselle High School students brought their engineering and science knowledge to F.E. Burleson Elementary, igniting the imaginations of young learners and fostering their progress in STEM subjects. 

Throughout the day, elementary students engaged in a variety of hands-on activities, from implosions of aluminum cans to creating “elephant toothpaste” pumpkins. These activities were led by HHS engineering class students who shared the fundamentals of engineering with their young counterparts. 

A primary objective of this collaborative educational effort was to introduce the elementary students to the ongoing project known as “InSPIRESS” (Innovative System Project for the Increased Recruitment of Emerging STEM Students.) InSPIRESS is an outreach initiative that involves high school students in designing a payload for a spacecraft bound for Venus. This payload will analyze Venus’s surface and atmosphere to address the critical issue of climate change. The demonstrations conducted by the engineering teams, AVIS and Glider, not only promoted STEM education and a passion for science but also raised awareness among the elementary students about pressing scientific challenges and their potential role as future STEM leaders in addressing these issues. 

The educational field trip for the elementary students culminated in a spectacular weather balloon demonstration. Here, students discovered the importance of meteorology and how scientists use small-scale blimps to measure wind speed and predict weather patterns. To cap off the day of scientific inspiration, the young learners released numerous smaller balloons, symbolizing the end of a day filled with captivating science experiences. 

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