Our Team Teaches STEM

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Date Published/Updated: 10/27/2023
Author: Heidi Fendos
Location: Sevierville, TN.

Soaky Mountain and Wilderness at the Smokies Team Members Teach STEM Activities TO Students

We love getting out in the community, and we recently had a lot of fun when our team members partnered with Wilderness at the Smokies employee for STEM Driven Career Day with K-6 students at Catlettsburg Elementary School.

Our group developed and presented 10 different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects that engaged students in learning exercises full of entertainment creativity, and creative thinking.

Presenters and Topics

Our General Manager, Dave Andrews started the day with a discussion on what it takes to be a great employee and how these traits are similar to the students’ discussions in their guidance classes. Dave then wrapped up his discussion by having the students complete some character trait activity worksheets.

Wilderness at the Smokies, Assistant General Manager, Chase Singleton fired up young imaginations by having the students design and theme their own waterparks after reviewing with the groups how the Wilderness water parks were designed and how water slides were named.

After talking all things candy, including the math and science that goes into candy making, Wilderness at the Smokies, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Elizabeth Faulkner empowered what we hope will be future confectionery entrepreneurs to decorate cookies.

Wilderness at the Smokies, Resort Manager, Brooke Stump, covered the science and technology that makes our RFID wristbands unique and their applications at the resort. The students were then charged with the task of creating their own wristbands. These creations will be judged at a later date and the best wristbands for each grade level will get a pizza party for their class!

First-aid basics were covered by our Assistant Operations Manager, Alex Boeke. Students were charged with the task of creating their own first-aid kits to test their understanding of the concept.

Wilderness at the Smokies Aquatics Director, Ryan Vaden, talked about the important life skill of water safety and awareness. Mr. Vaden’s activity included having the students dress their teachers as lifeguards!

Our Director of Operations, Joelle Kedzic, presented all things admissions, what great customer interaction looks like, and how math skills are key in managing park attendance. Mrs. Kedzic’s segments concluded with the students crafting their very own admission tickets to Soaky Mountain.

Entrepreneurship skills were tested as our Assistant Director of Food and Beverage Michael Posey got students to design their own food trucks, complete with a unique menu.

Wilderness at the Smokies, Adventure Forest Manager David Lewis, introduced arcade games’ probability aspect by showing how chance affects winning. He accomplished this through a live demonstration with a mix of red and black marbles. Mr. Lewis’s activity was a highlight of the day as students were also able to play a crane machine game filled with an assortment of rubber ducks.

Wilderness at the Smokies, “Mayor” of Winter WilderLand, M.J. Overton started winter early by having students make artificial snow out of baking soda and shaving cream. The group finished the class by talking about the science behind building and maintaining the only real outdoor ice skating rink in Sevierville.

According to the students, one of the many highlights was having an opportunity to see and take pictures with Molly Moose from Wilderness at the Smokies and Boomer the red squirrel from Soaky Mountain Water Park.

Our staff thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our friends at Catlettsburg Elementary and sharing a little of what goes into creating fun for our guests each and every day. Our appreciation goes out to the educators of CES for hosting us, including Principal Conrad, Asst. Principal Whitaker, Asst. Principal Justice, and STEM Lead Educator Chambers, thank you for your support!

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