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Scout organizes STEM challenge for Eagle project

Boy Scout James Connor coordinated a Weekend STEM

Boy Scout James Connor coordinated a Weekend STEM Challenge. Credit: Northport-East Northport School

A Northport student recently used his Eagle Scout project as an opportunity to teach youngsters in the field of science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM.

James Connor, 14, a Boy Scout and freshman at Northport High School, recently organized a weekend STEM Challenge that attracted more than five dozen fifth- and sixth-graders to the school.

The workshops were free of charge and taught by district teachers and local STEM professionals, school officials said.

“I wanted to focus on something that was as important to me as my project,” said Connor, who aspires to study computer programming at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Technology is one of the most important fields for the future, and it’s important for kids to get comfortable with it as early as possible.”

The challenge consisted of four workshops in the different areas of STEM studies — including one in which students learned about structure design by building bridges using Popsicle sticks and binder clips, and another in which they discovered algorithms to solve a Rubik’s Cube.

To plan the event, Connor worked closely for a six-month period with David Storch, the chairman of science and technology education for the Northport-East Northport School District.

Connor, a member of Troop 474, is hopeful the event will become an annual tradition, and he plans to organize it again next year.

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