NKU hosts its first STEM-EXPO


Mackenzie Manley

Kelsey Klinefelter is a biology major. Despite feeling as if STEM fields can be dominated by men, she finds power in female role models.

Leonard Ivey , Reporter

Whether you’ve set your sights on the stars above, the ground below, or even the ocean floor, there’s a club for you at NKU.

To prove it, NKU’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) and the Science Advisors are sponsoring the first ever STEM-EXPO — STEM being a shorthand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The event will be on the fourth floor of the Science Center and will include 15 student organizations and free showings of various films at the Haile Planetarium.

Co-coordinators Ellen Hokkanen, director of recruitment and retention at CINSAM, and Julia Bedell, academic advisor for the Department of Chemistry, explained that STEM-EXPO is designed in the image of INFO-EXPO, the College of Informatics’ annual student engagement event.

“The College of Informatics has been hosting this INFO-EXPO event for a couple of years and have been very successful as a way of engaging their students…. It was very obvious to me that it was an event that we can bring across to the STEM students,” Bedell said.

The event has received an outpouring of support from the university and even secured a donation from the Waters Corporation, a chemistry product manufacturer. The student organizations will also be joined by university offices such as the Science Advisors, the Learning PLUS Center, UCAP, and the Office of Education Abroad.

“[STEM-EXPO] is modeled the same way [as INFO-EXPO], where we’re trying to promote our student organizations within the STEM departments: help them get their name out, help them recruit new members, and to help them have a better presence on campus and within our STEM programs,” Hokkanen said.

Bedell and Hokkanen are hoping to have this event happen every fall semester.

“We hope… to have this event become part of our tradition as part of the academic calendar for STEM students moving going forward,” Bedell said.

Students from STEM organizations are also hoping that the event can help them bring in new members. Marisa Derenzo, the president of NKU’s Scuba Dice Enthusiats, wants new students to be able to enjoy her club’s activities.

“We’re a fairly new club… we just started last semester. We want to get our name out there, and we figure that a lot of science students would enjoy being a part of this club, so we wanted to get involved with the STEM-EXPO,” said Derenzo.

The event also includes a prize raffle: any students that sign in at at least three clubs will be entered into a raffle where the first prize is a package containing a $10 Starbucks gift card, an NKU water bottle, frisbee, and hat, an NKU Panoramic History photography book, a mathematical and logical puzzles book, and an NKU Math & Stats Club T-Shirt.

To learn more about the organizations that will be attending the event, you can visit CINSAM’s website for the event here. Additionally, the showings at the Planetarium will include Microcosm at 11:00 a.m., The Hot and Energetic Universe at 11:30 a.m., Secret Lives of Stars at 1:00 p.m., and From Earth to the Universe at 1:30 p.m.