Smart is cool; class coming

Published 5:05 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sessions offered free to educate, encourage, inspire youth

Brewton S.T.E.M. Day is coming to the community on Sat., Nov. 12, at the John L. Fisher Community Center. The program will last from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The one-day event is free of charge. It was established to inspire STEM careers for the next generation to become scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Activities will include programming robots, virtual reality, drones and rover maneuvers, and a creative maker space. The event is open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade with parents invited for a question session.

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Heading the event will be Brewton natives and T.R. Miller graduates Marcus Hall and his wife Valerie Monroe-Hall, founders of the Hall and Monroe STEM Initiative. The couple are both currently employed in Louisiana. 

Courtesy photo Brewton STEM Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 12 at the John L. Fisher Community Center. Pictured is a similar event held two years ago at JDCC in Brewton.

Courtesy photo
Brewton STEM Day will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 12 at the John L. Fisher Community Center. Pictured is a similar event held two years ago at JDCC in Brewton.

Hall is the 5.0 Engineering Competency Lead for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic New Orleans office.

Monroe-Hall is a licensed bachelor social worker at Ochsner Hospital.

The initiative was established to increase the interest of groups underrepresented in STEM such as minorities, women and individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

“We’ll have different sections ranging from the rocket section, drone section, rover section and boat building section,” said Hall.

“We’ll break them into age groups in their appropriate age. Some things might not be appropriate for some of the age groups like building rockets because of the equipment. The idea is to have four of five different sections set up, where kids over the four hour period can rotate between the sections to get exposed to each field.”

Each section will have a volunteer leader.

Hall said there will also be a session for parents to ask questions about careers in the respective fields, how their children can prepare and what is required for them to get into college.

“The question session is to give them the basics about what you should be doing now, even in the eighth or ninth grade, especially for the upcoming seniors prepping for ACT or the SAT.

A free lunch will be served during the program.

Hall said the goal of the program is to expose the youth to possibilities that maybe they have never been exposed to.

“Growing up in Brewton a lot of kids don’t have that exposure, so this is a way we know we can give back,” Hall said. “It’ll increase the growth in the community and educate our kids to give them things to do.

“When (my wife and I) grew up in Brewton we had those leaders to do those things, but when I come home now I don’t see that happen as much. So we figure what should we be doing on our part to give back. This is what we decided to do to give back to our own community.”

Registration should be completed by Thurs., Nov. 10 by submitting the attendee’s name, grade, and guardian’s name to the email of Marcus and Valerie Hall at or contacting a member of the Gentlemen Motorcycle Club of Brewton.

S.T.E.M. is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

For more information about Hall and Monroe STEM visit Hall and Monroe STEM is a part of W3RTECH Inc., which is a non-profit organization, approved in the states of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.