Spring Branch ISD Featured News

Circuits, physics demonstrations and bath bombs spark interest in STEM careers for Thornwood students



Twenty-five fifth-grade girls from Thornwood Elementary recently visited the University of Texas (UT) at Austin for Texas Girls in STEM Day, where they engaged in a variety of activities exploring science, technology, engineering and mathematics pathways. 

The event is organized and hosted by female STEM educators and professionals and seeks to educate girls interested in the field and fuel their passion for pursuing their dreams. Elementary and middle school students, families and educators are encouraged to attend the annual event to learn through hands-on activities. 

“Students really enjoyed the event! Many had never visited a college campus and were not familiar with STEM careers, it was a mind-opening experience for all of us,” said Joanne Lim, Thornwood assistant principal and field trip coordinator. “They left UT inspired to attend college and study engineering, physics and more!” 

Through engaging sessions hosted by a variety of departments and organizations at the university, students learned how circuits help power the world, how to create a bath bomb and lipstick, and what a biomedical engineer does. 

Opportunities like this help students achieve Spring Branch ISD’s T-2-4 vision, where every graduate attains a technical certificate, military training, or a two-year or four-year degree. 

The field trip was made possible by a Spring Branch Education Foundation grant, which was submitted by Lim and Thornwood fifth-grade science teachers Emily Breslin and Fernanda Valdez. They were excited to organize the field trip to help the girls explore a variety of skills and interests leading to future careers.  

Lim notes that the students could not stop talking about how fun the field trip had been. 

“The girls were excited to share their experiences with their families and some had even decided that they would be attending UT,” added Lim. “It was a great experience for them and I am sure many were inspired to attend college and major in STEM.”