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Lancaster ISD STEM Expo to Feature Academic Showcase, Rite of Passage Ceremony, Student Performances, Book Fair, Workshops and More

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – It is no myth that Lancaster ISD was the first district in the state of Texas to offer STEM education to every student in every grade level (PreK-12th) and that it continues to be a district of noted excellence when it comes to relevant, rigorous learning. It is also no myth that the district continues to outperform local districts and charter schools in the areas of math and science. So, when planning the 6th Annual 21st Century STEM Learning Expo & Parent Connect Event, the district’s academic team had a little fun and selected Myth Busters as this year’s theme.
 
“We’re going to dispel myths about STEM, clarify what STEM is and what it looks like in practice in Lancaster ISD,” Executive Director of Academics and Innovation Kyndra Johnson said.
 
The theme is inspired by the popular Discovery Channel show of the same name in which the hosts used elements of the scientific method to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, internet videos, and news stories. The show was one of the oldest—and the most popular—on Discovery Channel. For Lancaster ISD, this annual event is a culmination of a year’s worth of work.
 
“We host the annual STEM Expo in an effort to showcase and highlight all of the STEM projects, programs, clubs and organizations offered to all students, beginning in Pre-K,” Johnson said. “This event culminates the school year and marks the achievement of STEM milestones accomplished by students and staff.”
 
This year, the event will take place on Saturday, April 28 from 9 AM to 12 PM at Lancaster High school. Every year, the Expo grows with more features, workshops, showcases and partnerships.
 
“The Expo will be packed with innovations and scientific phenomena, but new this year will be The Nichols Mobile African American History Museum (NMAAHM), powered by the Lancaster MLK Foundation,” Johnson said. “The community will be able to explore the NMAAHM curriculum which exposes students to a way of learning that will engage them for a lifetime. The museum will leave students wanting to know more about the units of study and show them that African American history is important beyond the month of February because it is intertwined into the fabric of our nation’s history.”
 
This free event is open to everyone – parents, students, friends and community members. There will be student presentation stations, vendor booths and activity stations, the 4C Gifted and Talented Competition, a buy one, get one free book fair and various Fine Arts performances throughout the day after the morning kicks off with the celebratory Rites of Passage Ceremony.
 
“The purpose for the STEM Rites of Passage ceremony is to mark student’s transition from one grade level to another as it relates to STEM milestones accomplished throughout the year,” Johnson said. “An intentional rite of passage experience provides the space for the community to transmit its core values and confer the role responsibilities appropriate to the students’ stage of achievement in STEM, thus insuring cultural continuity between the district, parents, and the community.”
 
Also, during the Expo, the student of the LHS Debutantes, and the Lancaster ISD Society of Gentlemen, Sister to Sister and My Brother’s Keepers organizations will host their very first Youth Expo for children ages 6 to 18 years old to build positive relationships with peer leaders through fun and engaging workshops and motivational speakers.

“Parent Connect and the Strengthening Families Resource Fair is excited once again to partner with the STEM Learning Expo to offer various community resources for our parents as well as class sessions such as How Technology Breaks Down Barriers for Students with Disabilities, and Mental Health In Schools: A Silent Epidemic,” Director of Family Engagement, Behavior Support and Youth Expo Coordinator Dr. Kanesha Waites said.
 
The STEM Youth Expo Chairperson and LHS senior Tatyanna Byrd said she looks forward to hosting a session for parents to gain an in depth understanding of the LHS Debutante organization.
 
“We [LHS Debutantes] wanted to give back and expose the students of Lancaster to all that we’ve learned throughout our journey of becoming polished, poised and prepared for society,” she said.
“We believe in teaching what we’ve learned and giving insight and knowledge to our peers which will help them succeed in life.”
 
The STEM Youth Expo session will begin following the opening ceremony. The Expo will include the following seminar topics for the young ladies: The Skin I’m In, Every Decision Has a Consequence, Building your Brand: First Impressions, and Languages of Communication. The Expo will include the following seminar topics for the young men: So Fresh, So Clean, Every Decision has a Consequence, Building your Brand: First Impressions, How to be a Man with a Mission and Saving Ourselves.

In addition to the workshops and academic showcase, the day will feature a morning of food, fun, learning, performances, exploration and competition.
 
“Parents and event prospective parents will see firsthand what Lancaster ISD has to offer as it relates academics and innovation,” Johnson said. “This is an open house for parents to learn more about the district and the opportunities that exist for students to obtain More Than a Diploma.”