A student at Sycamore Elementary School in Sugar Hill had an opportunity to participate in a unique academic and career-oriented development program this summer. 

Logan Hooper practices skills in emergency medicine during the Medicine Pathway. Photo submitted by Casey Purl.

Rising fourth grader Logan Hooper attended the National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM program held June 25-30 at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, where he was able to explore STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — beyond his classrooms at Sycamore. Logan worked on a variety of projects, including learning to build and program an mBot robot through the Engineering Pathway, role-playing as a medical intern to perform a dissection and diagnose a patient in the Medicine Pathway and investigating a crime using chemistry concepts within the CSI Pathway. 

“NYLF Pathways to STEM is a unique learning experience for bright, forward-thinking elementary school students who will evolve into next generation innovators, engineers, doctors, software developers, and scientists,” a webpage detailing the program states. “Students learn by doing during hands-on simulations and workshops. … Early exposure to these fields can set today’s kids on a path to success by giving them the tools needed to make informed decisions about the future.”

“It was amazing and fun and a great experience overall,” Logan said of the week-long, immersive program. “The stuff we got to do was interesting.”

Logan Hooper investigates a mystery substance during the CSI Pathway. Photo submitted by Casey Purl.

His favorite parts of the program?

“Working on a team using engineering to build our amusement park ride and building my robot,” he said.

Logan was nominated to attend the forum by his elementary school teacher. He is part of the Gifted Program at Sycamore, where his gifted math class is his favorite class. He is also on the Principal’s Honor Roll, is a member of the chess club and is part of the Broadcast Team. Logan is also quarterback for his youth football team. 

Logan is the son of Cory and Casey Purl and Phillip and Tiffany Hooper.

FEATURED PHOTO: Logan Hooper, a student who attends Sycamore Elementary School in Sugar Hill, shows off one of his projects completed during the National Youth Leadership Forum: Pathways to STEM program from June 25-30, 2023, at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. Photo submitted by Casey Purl. 

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Deanna Allen has served as editor of the North Gwinnett Voice since June 2021. Effective communication and creative design are her passions.

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