Sunrise STEM Club: Reaching Minorities, Reaching The Stars

PBS Secret Life of Scientist Feature: Chapter 1

PBS Secret Life of Scientist Feature: Chapter 2

Watch Rich Robinson: Nanoscientist on PBS. See more from Secret Life of Scientists.

It’s the real testimony from this Nanoscientist in the PBS video who recharge my excitement about the premier of our STEM club, kicking off in January.


My colleague and I want to reach those under represented groups of potential science-fans, bridge-builders, medical-miracle-makers of the future on our middle school campus today. Together with our NAV AIR partners, and a wonderfully supportive principal, we are reaching for the stars at sunrise.

The sunrise schedule came about via a curious student and a conversation with a teacher who saw a dwindling crowd for the afternoon Physics club on campus.STEM Discovery Space Lab

One afternoon, a student walked through the open door of my science lab, in the middle of class, because he was curious about all that was going on in the room.

He was quiet, respectful, but curious enough to walk in and I loved it.

He wasn’t interrupting because everyone was working in their teams, busy with their discovery unit. This gave me time to talk with the curious 8th grader. He was very interested in the 400 gallon Tilapia fish farm in the classroom and asked what we do with it. I showed him and added, “We are starting a STEM…science club…in January. Would you be interested?” He said, “Yeah…but I have practice after school.” I said, “Well, then we might need to schedule it before school so you can come.”

STEM Aquaculture 400 Gallon Tank

STEM Aquaculture 400 Gallon Tank

I mentioned this encounter to my fellow-club sponsor and he was game to trying something different to mitigate the declining participation of after school clubs he had experienced in the past.

And just this week, I had a conversation with one of our Guidance Counselors regarding the students she thought would be candidates for a morning science club (STEM club). Somewhere in that exchange of ideas, I realized there is a whole crowd of possibilities with the free breakfast students who are already heading to campus early in the morning. Perfect!

As January approaches, I feel that our STEM club will be able to reach our target group of hidden stars—those underrepresented minorities who dream and need a helping hand to reach for their own Noble Prize in the future.

STEM educator

It’s a great time to be a STEM educator!


Kay Borglum, MS
STEM Educator/Science Teacher



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