Recently, young men from Harriet Tubman Charter School spent a Saturday on Tulane’s campus for Boys at Tulane in STEM (BATS). BATS provides fifth through seventh grade boys with the opportunity to meet and work with role models in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Tulane’s program encourages scholars to actively inquire, investigate, and discover in a welcoming science and engineering environment. When asked why he wanted to attend BATS, Tubman scholar Jessie said, “It was important for me to go to BATS so I could have more experiences with Science. I went to have fun with Science and to learn about different subjects of Science.” The Tubman team attended a range of sessions revolving around different areas of STEM, including conservation biology, fossils, slime making, germs, and cells. They had a full day of interactions and inventing. The teams were given the challenge of engineering a catapult, and their day concluded with a team competition where each team had to submit and test their project. Tubman won the whole competition! For the second year in a row! “My heart wouldn’t stop beating when I demonstrated the catapult,” shared Edward, the 7th grader chosen to test the device, with Moneisha Cunningham, his Science teacher at Tubman. Teammate Tarik added, “My favorite part was making the catapult. It was made out of marshmallow, chopsticks, rubber bands, and a spoon. It was a forces activity. We wanted to see which marshmallow could go the furthest. We won the competition!”

“What a thrill for us as a school and for the boys,” exclaimed Julie Lause, Tubman’s principal. “Not every boy in that group thought of themselves as a scientist before they went, but all of them came home with ‘engineering competition winner’ in their repertoire. Events like this that motivate and inspire are what we do at Tubman.” Scholar Miguel confirmed Lause’s comment when he added, “I went to have fun and do cool Science things!”