STEM Coffeehouse for High School Students

Macon County STEM Coffee House at The Rathskeller

Downtown Franklin

3:30 – 5:00pm

Bus #148 goes downtown from Franklin High School

Attention Macon County High School Students!

Join us for a fun afternoon of food, friends and

maybe discover your future career.

During each coffee house we will be joined by a different STEM professional.  They will give a short presentation about their job and then conduct an experiment or other hands-on project related to that profession.

Learn about the solar eclipse from an Astrophysicist or become a biopharmaceutical engineering team and perform tests for an experimental treatment for hemophilia with scientists from the Bionetwork.  Each month is a different topic and a different experiment.

February 6th – “The Royal Disease” with BioNetwork!  Whenever an individual suffers an injury, the body produces a fibrin polymer clot to stop the bleeding. Hemophilia, also known as “the Royal Disease,” is a genetic disorder characterized by the low production of blood clotting factors necessary for the formation of the fibrin clots. In this activity, student will explore X-linked recessive traits, learn about the process of scab formation, and become a biopharmaceutical engineering team performing testing on an experimental treatment.

March 13th – Engineering!  Learn about different careers in engineering and participate in a fun engineering challenge with engineer Christopher Hanners.  More details to come!

April 17th  – Black Holes with Dr. Enrique Gomez from WCU!  Learn about the physics of black holes and then learn how to identify the signal of ripples in space-time that indicate black holes merging together!  You will be participating in a real research project at the forefront of science! Bring your Ipad or laptop for this session.

Light snacks will be served and the cost is free (unless you want additional food or beverages served at the Rathskeller).

Space is limited to 30 participants so register early!

To register go to –

 April:  Black Holes with Enrique Gomez (laptop or ipad required with this program)

All participants MUST have a ride from the Rathskeller at 5:00.  This is a private event and the Rathskeller will be closing at 5:00 after the STEM Coffee House.

Macon Middle Science Fair Winners!

Congratulations to Macon Middle School students!

Mrs. Hornsby’s Experimental Design class from Macon Middle School competed at the regional science fair held at Western Carolina University. Three students won first place: Analee Webb, Olivia Pressley and Blaine Doolittle. Jasmine Cruz-Rios won 2nd place. These students will be advancing to the state Science Fair Competition in Raleigh.

3rd place was given to Muhammad Patel and Honorable mention went to Dillon Higdon.

Congratulations to all students who participated and good luck to those advancing. Four students will go on to compete and the State Science Fair in Raleigh next month.


Arctic STEM Challenge at Iotla Elementary

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The Arctic STEM Challenge at Iotla Elementary School

Mrs. Clark’s Class at Iotla just completed a winter themed STEM challenge.  The whole unit is called The Arctic Stem Challenge…the premise is that they are an Arctic team of explores who get trapped by a storm and they must survive by making a blanket, shelter, snowball shooter to keep away polar bears, watch out tower and a parachute.

This was our newest challenge …. they were given a spoon, 2 rubber bands, craft stick, papertowel roll, and they had to create a “snowball shooter” to keep the polar bears away.  That was the only direction and it had to shoot over 5 feet.  I was impressed to say the least.  Some used the stick as a stabilizer – so amazed by the minds of these young people!

LEGO Math at MVI

LEGO Math in Mrs. Lipan’s class at MVI

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Students in Mrs. Lipan’s class have been working on fractions over the past couple of weeks.  Each Lego brick was given a fraction value and a monetary value.  After constructing buildings with their various bricks, the students added and multiplied fractions to find the total value of the bricks they used but also counted how much it would cost to build based on the value given to each brick.  The students were so engaged in this lesson when I had the pleasure to visit their classroom!  If you want to know more about this lesson, Mrs. Lipan is always willing to share!

Engineering Musical Instruments at MVI

Engineering a Musical Instrument with Mr. McMahan’s class!

Students in Mr. McMahan’s 6th grade science class learned about the science of sound by inventing their own musical instrument.  These instruments are outstanding and have been on display in the media center for everyone to experience.  Students had to demonstrate their knowledge of amplitude (volume) and frequency (pitch) while playing their newly invented instrument.

Teacher STEM Resources Available


STEM Materials for checkout by Macon County Teachers – Materials have been purchased through the NASA Smoky Mountain STEM Collaborative grant and the STEM-E grant funded through the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.  Please contact Jennifer Love if you are interested in checking out any of these materials.

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