The Pine Bluff School District held its second annual STEAM fair at the Pine Bluff Convention Center on Tuesday. The STEAM program consists of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“The goal of the STEAM fair is to give students an opportunity to do STEAM-based projects and present them in the style of a traditional science fair, using display boards,” said Zach Lewis, Instructional Technology and Innovation Specialist for PBSD.

Students were asked to choose a topic and research how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics play a role in the topic of choice, for example, football. Students were also asked to innovate a new way to perform the topic of choice based off the information they learned while researching.

When asked what students gain from the STEAM fair experience, Lewis responded, “Students will learn that STEAM is a part of whatever they decide to do in life, no matter what that is. They will understand that the five disciplines can be integrated into anything like reading, getting your nails done, when you’re shopping, when you go to the grocery store, etc.”

Students’ projects were judged by STEAM majors from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and current STEAM career professionals in the area. Judging was based on multiple categories, including how well students did integrating STEAM into their concept, organization, research and creativity. The winners received certificates and gift bags filled with goodies and school supplies.

The STEAM fair experienced an increase in student participation this year. “Last year 350 students participated. I am proud to say this year 697 students registered. 1 out of 5 students (K-12) in the Pine Bluff School District completed a STEAM project,” Lewis said.

“The STEAM fair is a good way for elementary, middle and high school kids to come together and see what we have all learned in this half a year that we have been in school. There aren’t many programs that we have in school that involves the whole district, so when the whole district is able to get together, it’s a good thing,” said Keturah Roberts, a sophomore at Pine Bluff High School who wants to be a science major when she’s older.

The STEAM Fair was implemented by the PBSD Superintendent Michael Robinson as a program that teaches students how the STEAM content areas are integrated and utilized in their everyday lives.