Local companies showcased their use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the second annual STEM Night hosted by Holy Family School. 

Annie Cagle, the Holy Family School Technology Director, pitched the idea to HFS Principal Michael Comeau last year. She was overjoyed to see the turn out of about 250 participants at the event. This year the numbers of attendees increased, despite the rain. 

The instructor and the robotics team coach wanted all students to get excited about why they're having to learn the subjects in school.

"We're trying to get the kids passionate about things they really need in the future with STEM," Annette Fitzgerald, HFS Advancement Director, said. Fitzgerald encouraged the youngsters to take the slime recipe so that they may recreate the experiment at home with their parents and rekindle their love of science. 

Slime-making, Dow's drone-driving and Entergy's power line safety demonstration were among students' favorite of the activities.

Entergy professionals demonstrated the importance of power line safety by stimulating the danger of how touching a branch on a line would affect a finger by using a hot dog. Children tried on the protective gloves and were shown the infrared cameras used to inspect the power lines.

Ashton Dickey, a Dow shuttle and small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) pilot and mother to two HFS students, explained how her kids are fascinated by the drones and aircrafts she uses every day. 

Her kids "think its toys, but it does great things," like keeping professionals out of harm's way by managing the technology elsewhere, Dickey said. 

HFS students were given the opportunity to fill out a passport with stamps from all booths for the chance to be entered into a drawing for a prize and to encourage witnessing what every booth had to offer. 

This year's additions include booths focused more on biochemistry, Comeau said. For example, West Baton Rouge Parish Shelter and Animal Control taught families about heartworms demonstrated by a dog's heart in a jar. 

The more kids that are inspired by STEM, the better opportunities for the students and the community, Comeau explained as HFS graduates have gone on to work for Amazon, programming at Rockwell Collins and pursue biomedical engineering. 

Staff writer

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