Milford High hosts STEAM workshops

Courtesy photo Milford High School senior Jake Williams helps a student with his 3D modeling project in the Pre-Engineering workshop.

MILFORD – Thursday, more than 250 students in grades 2-8 participated in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) workshops at Milford High School.

“It’s been a district-wide collaborative effort that’s made running an event this large work for the last four years,” Milford High School Director of Technical studies Rick Paiva said.

“It’s amazing what you can do when educators, parents and industry workers get together.”

The event started in 2014. Paiva said it began as an initiative to get local girls at Milford’s elementary school involved in science and math programs.

“We said, what a wonderful thing. Why not make it better and have it for all students? And everyone loved it,” Paiva said. “I call it the most wonderful organized chaos you can imagine.”

The event kicked off at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Participating students could choose two workshops to attend. This also gave them a glimpse into different career technical education (CTE) programs offered at Milford High. The biotech program showed students how to separate and extract a strawberry’s DNA. Customized key tags were made using a mill through the Manufacturing program. Students were able to use professional software to learn about 3D modeling in the Engineering program. They could learn how proteins break down by making meringue in Culinary Arts.

Paiva said there were 18 workshops offered and there were 20 different partners set up with displays, including different clubs and teams, as well as local manufacturing and graphic design companies. There was also a raffle with STEAM-oriented swag and different robots and five-week long summer camp brochures for summer camp at Manchester Community College.

Student ambassadors were there to help “the youngsters” in the workshops. Paiva said all 11 CTE programs helped out with the event in one form or another. Included in the 11 programs are: Accounting, Biotech, Business, Computer Science, Construction Tech, Culinary Arts, Graphic Arts, Marketing, Machining, Engineering, and Video Productions.

Paiva said the career technical center is integrated into the school. “We don’t just stand alone, which is why it’s so important that we had a collaborative communal effort. We are very much an integrated school,” Paiva said.

Though some of the students who participated in the workshops will not be attending MHS for quite some time, Paiva said career development is a lifelong process.

Paiva said, “We look at this as students being students, no matter what their age is.”

Grace Pecci can be reached at 594-1243 or