Miss. students raise money for St. Jude with creative STEM projects

St. Jude STEM Challenge

HERNANDO, Miss. (WLBT) - Amid a global pandemic, one Mississippi teacher found a way for her children to raise money for an important group of healthcare professionals--St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Hernando teacher Rachel Stigler found out about the EPIC (experimenting, prototyping, inventing and creating) Challenge and knew she wanted to take part.

The activity is a way for students to raise money for St. Jude through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

The EPIC challenge is a curriculum that presents students with ways to improve life for children like those at St. Jude.

Some of Stigler’s class ideas included a medicine dispenser, a cleaning robot and a “sickness zapper.”

The projects helped raise nearly $400 for St. Jude kids.

“It encourages [us] to think of what the children of St. Jude need, what the doctors need and what the families need. It encourages students to use their brainpower for others,” one student, Summer, said.

Stigler called it an eye-opening experience.

“A lot of them instantly thought of robots because of STEM, but a lot of them took it, in my opinion, to the next level. They got connected with it emotionally and that was very special to watch. They weren’t thinking about themselves, it was a very selfless task,” she said.

Teachers or parents interested in the EPIC Challenge can sign up here.

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