FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2017, 10:00 a.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College
Marketing and Communications, 402-872-2429
Peru, Nebraska – The Peru State College of Education hosted their 21st semi-annual Brain Quest learning event on December 2nd. Brain Quest is a biannual program for third graders that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM learning.
Elementary Education majors at Peru State designed multiple activities to encourage hands-on engagement with STEM concepts. Over 200 third graders from surrounding elementary schools participated in this year’s activities.
Some of this year’s projects included making ice cream, marshmallow shooting, building mini catapults, filling up balloons with a created chemical reaction, trying the water bottle flip challenge, making rain clouds, making 3-dimensional shapes with various items, building gingerbread houses, and building snowmen with homemade snow.
Dr. Gina Bittner, associate professor of education, founded Brain Quest in 2006 during her first semester at Peru State College. Bittner was joined in recent years by assistant professor of education, Darolyn Seay. They host Brain Quest along with elementary education students each fall and spring semester.
Bittner says, “Brain Quest is a great opportunity for our teacher candidates to gain first-hand teaching experience with meeting students’ needs in math and science. The candidates work to use the STEM Standards (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) to engage students in meaningful lessons.”
Seay had many good things to say about this year’s activities, remarking, “This event focuses on providing third-grade students with the opportunity to explore STEM-related, hands-on activities. The day has proven to be a high-impact event supporting community engagement, and lots of fun for all.”
The Dean of Education at Peru State, Dr. Ellie Kunkel, also commented, “Brain Quest was a huge success because of the rich collaboration among faculty that results in successful planning and execution by our teacher candidates emulating this model.”
Ashley Peiman and Jared Haag contributed to this release.