Students Celebrate Kansas Day with Sunflower Science

Deanna Bonn
Times-Gazette

To celebrate Kansas’ 160th Birthday, Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Southwest 2020, virtually visited Devin Voorhees’ 2nd Grade classroom at Holy Cross Catholic School in Hutchinson.

Miss Southwest 2020, Sierra Marie Bonn, led a Sunflower Science activity for students at Holy Cross Catholic School in Hutchinson, to celebrate Kansas Day.

“Mrs. V,” as she is known by students, is a Reading Resource teacher and invited Bonn to share her social impact initiative, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” with students.

According to Bonn, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead! is an initiative to promote STEAM engagement and education, based on my own passions in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) fields. “My goal is to engage with classrooms across the nation to garner excitement for STEAM, and to serve as a role model for young women everywhere,” Bonn said.

Bonn taught them about the intersection of science and art in the realm of botany. Students participated in a Sunflower Science activity, learning about the Kansas’ state flower. Through the activity, they learned how plants get their nutrients through water absorption by making coffee filter flowers. Bonn leads activities for students of all age levels.

She began teaching design thinking workshops to raise awareness of the gender disparity in STEAM fields. She is available for in-person, COVID restrictions allowing, and virtual visits to share interactive STEAM workshops.

“The intent is to increase creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and flexibility,” Bonn said. “We visit classrooms, camps, and college campuses to show that the Arts and the Sciences are not pitted against each other, they are infinitely and intrinsically related.”

Bonn virtually taught students about the intersection of art and science with an activity that showed how plants, like sunflowers, absorb their nutrients.

Students across Kansas can participate in Sunflower Science at home for free by watching the Sunflower Science — A “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” Activity on Bonn’s YouTube Channel, Sierra Marie Bonn: https://youtu.be/r0xYB2UI10c

Additionally, Bonn creates a free STEAM curriculum for teachers, and homeschool parents, to download letsgofullSTEAMahead.com As Miss Southwest 2020, Bonn is a candidate within the Miss America Organization and will compete for the job of Miss Kansas 2021 in June.