Seventh-graders from Iredell-Statesville Schools had the chance to participate in eight hands-on learning activities during the district’s second annual STEAM Day on Tuesday.

The event, which was held at Unity Center, featured a variety of science, technology, engineering, arcade and math activities for 100 students to test throughout the day. Students took turns visiting the different stations that were housed as arcade-like exhibits.

“This is our special event for seventh-graders in Career Technical Education classes. Not only does it provide them with hands-on STEM challenges, but it is to inspire students to explore STEM careers,” said I-SS Career Developmental Coordinator Middle School Programs Juli Tipton.

The event was part of a larger initiative, which aims to help students nail down their interests and plan their careers.

“We’re really just trying to making learning as fun as we can,” said I-SS Middle School STEM Coach Debra Lester. “Every student was selected by their school. Students have shown to be a good leader, good communicator, problem solver or critical thinker.”

Last year, the “A” in STEAM was for Advanced Manufacturing. This year, the “A” stands for Arcade-style activities, which is a theme for the event.

“Just because it looks easy, doesn’t mean it is easy,” Lester said, explaining that students have to work together to figure out how to troubleshoot robots and other aspects of a game.

From making a robot carry an oversized playing card and a box to experiencing aviation through drones, the activities were varied and equally challenging for each team.

Bailey Scott, a 12-year-old student from North Iredell Middle, said that it was a fun day to try new things while working as a team. She moved the robot for her team in the activity “Dice Dice baby.”

“We learned what not to do and then we took it slow to get our cards to our tray,” she said. “We are glad we beat the boys.”

Troutman Middle student Mackenzie Hovis, 12, said that working as team is better than working alone.

“You learn to communicate better when you work as a team. I really liked everything we did,” she said.

Kensley Dalton, her teacher, said he’s proud of his students.

“Some students are good at coding and robotics. Each student has different strengths, and it was cool to see them come together as a team and help each other,” he said.