After its exciting inaugural year, in which it won the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow competition, STEM club is taking time to focus on Valley.
“The Samsung competition was a great opportunity, but it’s too much. It became a second career for me and Mrs. Wissler,” said José Rodriguez, one of the club’s co-sponsors.
Due to the pushback they got from some of the organizations involved in the trail, the club has stopped trying to implement last year’s project, an alert system for the W&OD trail.
“We were getting pushback from some areas, others had interest, but until it gets to the point where everyone’s ready to work together, it’s just not going to happen,” said Rodriguez.
Now their focus is on creating a space where students can learn and try new things.
Senior Riley Schnee described the lab as a “makerspace”, a public space in which people have access to the equipment they need in order to learn, experiment and create in ways that they couldn’t on their own.
“We just would just like to have a makerspace of our own, there’s a lot of commercial makerspaces now where you pay to use the space, [but] this space is going to be completely free for all Valley students. You don’t have to be involved in a certain STEM class or STEM program, you can use it no matter who you are, and if you have an idea we want you to pursue it,” Schnee said.
In order to create such a space, the club hopes to get some additional equipment, such as a 3D printer, as well as some drones.
“We just want to have things that entice people to create their own projects and do what they’d like,” said Schnee.
The club hopes that the lab will also serve as a starting point for collaboration, a place where students can find people who share their passion.
“Our goal is to get kids to form their own little clubs within the club” Rodriguez said, “the idea is that once those little groups are established, they can come in and meet whenever they want.”
Their ultimate goal is to reach as many people as they can.
“People are always asking ‘is it too late to join?’” Rodriguez said. “It’s never too late to join, just jump in.”