Category Archives: Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

S.T.E.M. Fair!

The April 30 STEM Fair handily exceeded everyone’s expectations, all across the board. Local business and parental support, staff and faculty support, and student participation were all phenomenal, especially for a first-ever, exploratory event!

In the words of Bill VanLoo: “Wow. Where do we go from here?” Debbie Taylor, who was one of the guest presenters, asked me to share her encouragement for HCCS middle school students who might like to participate in the SE Michigan Science Fair next year. She said: “They’ll win prizes.” (more at

Well, we know they already won the prize of pride in learning for the joy of it. What a tribute to their teachers, and their community! Thanks for making it happen, STEM Committee – especially Sharon Paskus and Nadine Wang. Take a bow!

Oh, and yes, there will be a STEM Committee next year! More parents are always welcome to participate, at any level. Email Sharon or any PTO officer for more info, anytime. Or watch this website for meeting announcements.


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Think STEM for Spring

Great things are coming up STEM this spring! 

First, a huge thank you to the February Lunch with an Expert mentors.  We are humbled by your both your knowledge and generosity!  

The March Lunch with an Expert will be March 19th in the Pit during regular classroom lunch hours.  Stay tuned for more details about the fabulous featured community experts.

The April Lunch with an Expert will be April 16th in the Pit.  This lunch will have “honey bee” theme and will feature film maker and bee expert Barbara Lucas who will discuss and show her documentaries titled, “‘The
Pollination Pyramid”  and “An Adventure with Bees”.  We are also working on a collaboration for this lunch with the Wellness committee and a local bee keeper.  Check back for more details!

The STEM Committee is very excited to announce the first annual STEM Fair, Friday, April 30th.  The STEM Fair and Celebration.  The STEM Fair borrows some inspiration from a traditional science fair, but adds distinct Honey Creek flavors.  There will be three aspects to the fair – voluntary independent projects, presentations by local STEM experts, and classroom generated work.  We are working hard to make this a great event.  More details to come!

The science materials inventory is now a valuable tool as a google document and has already been utilized!  While planning a tech. unit, Bill needed a bunch of magnets, so he turned to the Honey Creek google doc inventory to find them.  He was able pin point the location of all the magnets he needed for his lesson.  Well done Bill.  This will be a great way for teachers to locate and share resources. 

Scott Mahler is partnering with folks at the UM College of Engineering and planning some great things for Honey Creek.  We can’t wait to tell you…..

Fashion and Technology you saw?  Yes, specifically conductive thread and l.e.d. lights.  Think of the possibilities!   Bill Van Loo and Cheryl Quinn will be leading a Middle School Life Skills Class this spring.  Let your kids know!

 If you would like to volunteer, or just want to know more about all this STEM stuff, feel free to contact Sharon Paskus at

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Field Trip: Advanced Manufacturing Lab

On Saturay morning (2/13) Bill Van Loo will be leading a tour of the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at Washtenaw Community College. Details are below. Please join in on the fun and learning!

Tom Penird, an instructor at WCC, will show a robotic simulation
and demonstrate other equipment used in industrial design, machining, and
manufacturing. In addition, we will have the chance to watch high school
level robotics teams build their robots for an upcoming FIRST robotics

When: 10 AM, Saturday, Feb. 13

Where: Advanced Manufacturing Lab, Technical and Industrial Building,
Washtenaw Community College. A map to the building can be found here

Attendees should plan on meeting in the lobby of the building, and then
heading into the lab as a group.

Everyone is welcome, but the lab can only accommodate ~30 people, so please
RSVP to Bill if you and your child would like to attend. Members of the Junior FLL and First Lego League teams are especially encouraged to come for this chance to see the high school teams creating their big robots.

Thanks go to Bill, for organizing this trip!

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Lunch with an Expert Rocks!

A huge thank you to all the adult mentors for the STEM Lunch with an Expert series.  The response from both the students and adult mentors has been overwhelmingly positive.  Thanks also to Nadine Wang, Cheryl Quinn, Bill Vanloo and Anne Dimitry for facilitating the events, bringing food and inspiring us all!!  

The next STEM Lunch with an Expert will be Friday, Feb. 12th in the Pit from 11:20-12:30.  Matt Morgan, owner of Morgan and York, will give us insight into running a business, Sherry MacKay, biotechnician, will educate us on how cells are grown and then delivered to patients, and videographer and graphic techno wiz Scott Mahler will give us insight into his various areas of expertise.  We are still waiting to hear from some more exciting mentors, so stay tuned!

The STEM Fair/Celebration will be held simultaneously with the Spring Festival on April 30th.  The Fair will have a three-pronged approach including student projects done exclusively at home, presentations and demonstrations from outside sources, and some school projects contributed by classroom teachers.  This is an exciting venture.  Please join us in planning this Honey Creek original!

Keeping with the STEM theme, our next meeting will be completely virtual (thank you to Scott Mahler!).  Please contact Sharon Paskus at if you are interested.  Date and time: Feb. 9th, 6:30 p.m.  We must have some information from you before the meeting time to enable participation.  I hope you can join us!!

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Lunch with an Expert Tomorrow

The STEM Committee is so proud to present the line up of talented parents for tomorrows Lunch with an Expert!
Our experts are: Nadine Wang, PhD. in electrical engineering, Marie Askins, professional baker and caterer, Dr. Liza Green. physical and rehab doctor, Allen Vaughn, glass artist, and Nancy Bauer, creative director at a digital company.

Please spread the word to your kids about this great opportunity to have lunch and conversation with these mentors. Your child should bring his/her lunch to the pit during the regular lunch hour.

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