An operator with Ed Holmes and Associates shows a drone to NDA students.

BCS students explore big ideas, new technologies, and career paths as they prepare to take on tomorrow’s challenges.

Martin L. Nesbitt, Jr. Discovery Academy hosted a college fair and STEM Day for its student body on Friday. While upperclassmen talked to university, career, and military representatives, ninth and 10th graders chose from an eclectic mix of in-depth learning sessions – from drone mapping to board game development to water quality monitoring.
“STEM days give students the opportunity to choose what's most useful for them in the areas of college and career readiness, real world STEM projects with industry leaders, and hands-on volunteering in our community,” said Principal Heather Brookshire. “It's great to have our faculty come together to plan this event for our students, as it’s just as valuable as the courses that they teach. NDA Chargers are making it happen for the future!”
Math teacher Caitlin Burnett invited a civil engineer from Vaughn & Melton Consulting to facilitate a bridge-building challenge for her students. After carefully assembling and gluing their bridge trusses together, the students tested how much pressure and weight their designs could hold.
“I liked working in a team to create our bridge and then seeing how it would hold up in the end,” said freshman Asher Blackwood.
“Hearing from industry professionals gives students a chance to see STEM in action in the real world,” Ms. Burnett added. “They not only learned about a possible career choice but saw hands on how civil engineering plays such a huge role in our everyday lives.”
Science teacher Gregory Tucker took 17 underclassmen down to the River Arts Greenway to speak with community leaders from Riverlink and Asheville Greenworks about efforts to protect the French Broad River from excessive stormwater runoff, pollutants, and trash.
“Both speakers explained in detail what the issues are, showed steps being made to address these issues, and spoke to the students about how to be more aware of these issues and be advocates for a healthier environment in their own communities,” Mr. Tucker said.
At one of the upperclassmen panels, six former students from the classes of 2018-2021 shared their post-NDA experiences with juniors.
“While some have followed their STEM pursuits in college and are now working in STEM-related fields, many changed course after entering college and have pursued or are pursuing college and careers in other areas,” Mr. Irvin said. “It was incredibly gratifying to hear of the successes of our graduates and to know that in giving something back to our school, they've helped others who will be following in their footsteps.”

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