Bill Arp STEAM Day

Bill Arp Celebrates 10th Annual STEAM Day
Posted on 04/08/2024
Bill Arp Elementary School celebrated its 10th Annual STEAM Day on March 29, with more than 30 experts in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics explaining and demonstrating their careers to students.

Gifted teacher Amy Dobbs oversees the annual event, which had the feel of a festival of all things science-related.

“I want them to say, ‘Maybe I want to do that when I grow up,’” Dobbs said of what she hoped the students got out of the day.

Georgia Tech software engineer John Chittam brought computers to show students how they work.

Chittam, whose mom Michelle teaches algebra at neighboring Alexander High, explained to the students that as a programmer, “I tell computers what to do.”

He also taught the students about how the code he writes gets turned into 1s and 0s, known as binary. He ended by doing a binary exercise with students.

“That was impressive,” Bill Arp counselor Tracy Small said of the binary exercise.

Claire Keller, an Alexander High student, was one of more than 90 middle and high school students who volunteered for STEAM Day. Keller oversaw the “Rosie Revere, Engineer” Challenge. The challenge was based on a book about Rosie Revere, who tried to build herself a flying machine.

Bill Arp students were tasked with building their own flying machine that would successfully get Rosie across a zipline.

“So far, all of them have come across,” Keller said about two hours into the event. “We’ve had 10 different rockets built, and all 10 of them have made it across.”

Outside, students got to see many of the tools used by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Bomb Squad, including a robot, a portable X-ray machine and a mobile crime lab.

GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge John Cobb said the Bomb Squad usually works large scale events like sporting events at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

“If there’s a device in the stands, I can very quickly shoot an X-ray,” Cobb said while holding a mobile X-ray generator. “Or, like if it’s on a hostage or something like that, I can quickly shoot an X-ray and see it right then.”

Another device Cobb showed students, called First Defender, is like a “crime lab in a truck” that can identify suspicious substances like white powders, he said.

Cobb also showed a “$70,000-$80,000 backpack” with metal detectors, radiation detectors and rigging kits.

“Pretty much, I can do everything I can do with this truck out of this bag,” Cobb said.

Back inside, Raegan Claunch gave students a demonstration on "Who Dun It" fingerprinting.

Claunch, a Bill Arp alumnus, works as a crime scene technician with the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office. Claunch was one of four former BAES students who made presentations for STEAM Day.

Bill Arp students ended the exciting day with a Science Machine assembly in the gym.

“This day started as a spark of an idea in 2014, and has grown each and every year,” Dobbs said. “It has become a day that all students and teachers anticipate. We have tried to incorporate different STEAM careers, and have even begun to integrate literature with each station as well. Our goal each year is to expose the students of BAES to an array of careers, and help motivate them to set goals for their futures, all while having a very engaging and exciting day!"
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