Juniors Cristian Rios and Meg Scroggins, above, demonstrate their gas law experiment to the visitors at the STEM Roundtable program. Skip Maas, below, explains his circuit board project. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Juniors Cristian Rios and Meg Scroggins, above, demonstrate their gas law experiment to the visitors at the STEM Roundtable program. Skip Maas, below, explains his circuit board project. (Staff photos by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Shawe Memorial High School students gathered with industry leaders, teachers and school administrators Wednesday to demonstrate some of the things they've learned in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math - or STEM.

The presentations were part of a STEM roundtable discussion between the school, EcO15 and representatives of Grote Industries, Vehicle Service Group, Arvin Sango, Inc., Royer Corporation, Madison Chemical, Dow Corning and the Ohio Valley Electric Corporation.

The goal of the discussion, according to Prince of Peace President Phil Kahn, was to create a better relationship and understanding between local businesses and educators, and to learn what the school can do "academically, to take it to the next level."

Skip Maas and Whit Grote gave a presentation of what they learned in their principles of engineering course by presenting some of the circuits and simple machines they made in class.

Brad Koehler and Patrick Bear discussed what they learned about predicting outcomes in algebra II by creating scatter plots and prediction lines.

Isometric sketches were the topic of a presentation by Jesse Fitton and Ethan McCarter, two Introduction to Engineering and Design students. Their presentation showed how to make a Rubik's Cube out of five pieces that had to be placed in a certain order, like a puzzle, to fit together.

Meg Scroggins and Cristian Rios demonstrated Charles's Law, which states that the volume of a gas increases or decreases by the same factor as its temperature. The two students learned about the law in integrated chemistry and physics, and they demonstrated the law by lighting a candle sitting in green liquid on a tray. The students placed a mason jar over the candle to create a vacuum and forced the liquid upward.

The final presentation was from Taylor Grote and Rebecca Israel. The team launched a paper rocket. They were able to calculate the height their rocket traveled based on the time spent in the air.

After the presentations, several business leaders had suggestions for what the school could do to improve classes and make students college ready.

Tim Brooks, chief engineer for Grote, said combining some of the class curriculum to get students to think about how different STEM fields work together would be beneficial.

The group also discussed creating internships, what companies look for when hiring, and how to keep young people working in the area.

"We need workers," Kahn said. "But I don't think as a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old you know what kind of jobs are really available here."