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May 18, 2024

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Columbia State to Host STEM Within Reach Event

A one-day STEM forum open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders offering interactive, hands-on activities on Oct. 21.

Columbia State Community College hosts “STEM Within Reach,” on October 21 to encourage middle schoolers access to STEM careers.

“STEM Within Reach is a wonderful outreach event in our nine-county service region,” says Ryan Badeau, Columbia State educational services coordinator for the Williamson Campus and associate professor of physics. “This one-day program is a fast-paced and exciting showcase of STEM fields and career opportunities for sixth-to-eighth grade students. Columbia State hopes to attract the next generation of scientists, engineers, computer programmers and doctors. The possibilities are endless when young minds are introduced to various STEM concepts and innovations,” he adds.

STEM Within Reach includes workshops designed to teach students about STEM-related careers. Middle schoolers can observe and participate in setups on campus while faculty and presenters guide experiences. Topics include animal science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, math, technology and more.

“From anatomical dissections to nitrogen chambers, young participants will think outside the box to experience new ideas and learn more about their interests,” says Andrew Wright, Columbia State assistant vice president of faculty, curriculum and programs. “Event participants will also meet and interact with professionals from companies such as UltiumCells, General Motors, Landmark Ceramics, Boeing and more,” he adds.

Parents and teachers are invited to attend the adult session, for insights on encouraging students in STEM classes and beyond.


The event takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Waymon L. Hickman building on the Columbia Campus. There is a $40 registration fee, with limited financial assistance opportunities available via the scholarship application (made possible by lead sponsor, the Tennessee Valley Authority).

For more information or to register, visit



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.