Engaging in Spooky STEM!: The Importance of STEM Activity for Young People

Last week during the October holiday, we had a great time with our young people engaging in some Spooky STEM activity! 

On Monday, Tuesday and Friday, our young people took part in Spooky themed STEM experiments to create Halloween decorations to create and take home with them. On Monday we began creating clay sculptures in a Halloween theme and creating some oobleck blob monsters in the name of mad science! 

For Eerie engineering, we created some creepy catapults as well as taking our clay creations from the day before and attaching them to magnets. After the magnets and clay were properly stuck, our young people were able to take them home. This was accompanied with plenty of Halloween treats, sweets and tunes!  

In our final session Frightday Friday, we gave all our young people pre-made background paintings and challenged them to change these regular autumn sceneries into a Halloween themed spook gallery! They added ghosts, ghouls and lots of other creepies to make their own Halloween exhibition pictured below, our artists and their creations!  

Halloween is a perfect time for our young people to have fun with messy, gooey and fun experiments to help expand their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art in a way that is fun but also allowing them to discover new skills and talents waiting to be unlocked through trying these new things.  

Here at Paisley YMCA Makerspace, STE(A)M based activity like this and the environment that our organisation promotes for equality and protection for all young people. Through aim to ensure that STE(A)M is for everyone and by widening participation in this activity, we can work to change and expand the world of STE(A)M research to include as many new voices as possible. It allows for young people to build their STEM capital, which increases their chances of continuing into a STEM-related career into adulthood as it shows STEM can be for anyone and everyone.  

Every week, our space offers STE(A)M based activity using technology, artistic materials, coding, gaming and engineering using sustainable materials to help our young people find their place in STEM. It can encompass so many different skills and ideas and our aim will always be to help and encourage young people to find what they enjoy and a niche that they can use to explore their interests and build future opportunities.  

We always aim to make our activities as fun and engaging to young people as possible; however, activities such as those in our Spooky STEM week, our Summer of STEAM programme, our collaborations with other Paisley youth organisations and projects also serve the purpose of re-defining how STE(A)M is viewed through a narrow perspective as only being for certain people. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Art are huge areas that make up much of our world as we know it and they are ripe for all young people to explore and find out new things about themselves as well as science facts, tech wizardry, artistic processes and how to build catapults! 

Our young people told us that the painting and clay modelling were some of their favourite activities this week and all of them intend to return to our space when schools begin again. As the end of the year draws closer, we look forward to spending the holidays with seasonal activities for our young people and other community projects for those living in Paisley. It’s been a busy year, and we can’t wait to see what it has left in store! 

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