Columbia State to Host STEM Within Reach Event

STEM Within Reach, formerly known as STEM GiRLS, attendee conducts flame test/ photo from Columbia State Community College

Columbia State Community College will host the STEM Within Reach event, an effort to promote and encourage young people’s knowledge and access to science, technology, engineering and math careers, on October 21 at the Columbia Campus.

“STEM Within Reach is a wonderful outreach event in our nine-county service region,” said Ryan Badeau, Columbia State educational services coordinator for the Williamson Campus and associate professor of physics. “This one-day program is a fast-paced and exciting showcase of STEM fields and career opportunities for sixth to eighth grade students who may not be aware of such trajectories. Columbia State is interested in attracting the next generation of scientists, engineers, computer programmers and doctors. The possibilities are endless when young minds are introduced to various STEM concepts and innovations.”

STEM Within Reach is a one-day STEM forum open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders that will offer interactive, hands-on activities as well as encourage early student success in STEM, provide awareness of STEM careers available in Tennessee and promote the scientific and technological understanding of such fields.

The workshops at STEM Within Reach are designed to teach middle school students about the different opportunities in STEM-related careers as they begin to think about their futures. Stations will be set up around campus for the students to observe and participate while Columbia State faculty and guest presenters guide them through an interactive hands-on experience. Topics include animal science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, math, technology and more.

“From anatomical dissections to nitrogen chambers, young participants will exist in a safe environment to think outside the box and perhaps step out of their comfort zone to experience new ideas and learn more about their interests and passions within the world of STEM,” said Andrew Wright, Columbia State assistant vice president of faculty, curriculum and programs. “Event participants will also meet and interact with external professionals from companies such as UltiumCells, General Motors, Landmark Ceramics, Boeing and more.”

Parents and teachers are also invited to stay and attend the adult session, which will provide insight on how to encourage and guide young students in STEM classes and careers. STEM Within Reach will demonstrate to parents how their children can have rewarding and high-paying careers in a variety of STEM fields.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Waymon L. Hickman building on the Columbia Campus. There is a $40 registration fee, with limited financial assistance opportunities available via the scholarship application made possible thanks to lead sponsor, the Tennessee Valley Authority. Seating is limited.

For more information or to register, visit

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