WSU Spokane STEMposium

The Spokane STEMposium came to campus again this year, giving more than 200 local middle and high school students the chance to present STEM projects in a conference setting.

We enjoy hosting this event since our academic programs fall well within the STEM umbrella. STEM, of course, stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Among the projects presented were ones related to the health sciences.

Students from Spokane Valley Tech developed what they call “The Doc Bear,” which helps kids who are afraid of going to the doctor. WSU Spokane STEMposium

Specifically used for kids with suspected ear infections, “The Doc Bear” is a simple teddy bear, but it also has an otoscope attached to it. Kids that are afraid of a doctor using the tool to look inside their ears can now cuddle the bear while the parent uses the attached otoscope to peak inside the ear. The parents have a sense of what they should and should not see in an ear infection, and if they see something wrong, they can take the child to the doctor.

The students – MacKenzie Beier, Cassidy Freeman and Madison Flint – said oftentimes parents bring kids to the doctor suspecting an ear infection because the kid was fussy. Every parent reading this knows that there are more causes for fussiness than a suspected ear infection, so “The Doc Bear” also aims to reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor’s office.

Beier, Freeman and Flint all indicated they’d like to enter the health sciences after high school.

Other students presented in a classroom style. Some of the projects included topics like improving post-care for mental health patients (Nicholas Hern, Ferris High School), the pathway to non-antibiotic treatments (Jeremy Heng, Hellgate High School), a home-based allergy test (Rachel Matheison, Spokane Valley Tech), flu hospitalizations in Spokane County (Emily Fields, Ferris High School), the effects of energy drinks on dehydration (Rheanda Jabbora, Asotin High School) and much more.

Spokane STEM helps put on the event, and this allows students to showcase their work prior to entering a specific academic program in college. Some students presented in hopes of winning a scholarship.

We’re glad to host this great event and may have met some future Spokane Cougs along the way.