WILLCOX — On Saturday night, the Willcox High School auditorium was filled with song, dance and glimpses of cultures across the world.
Willcox Middle School science teacher Rebecca Bhasme and her STEM club hosted the first International Night, which acted as a fund-raiser for future programs.
“The International Night was organized to provide an evening of entertainment and create cultural awareness about the various communities dwelling in Willcox,” Bhasme said. “I want to introduce various art forms as a part of STEAM. Art is a creative form of expression and an integral part of learning.”
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and mathmatics.
The evening consisted of refreshments sold by the STEM club, followed by a statement from Mayor Mike Laws and an hour of diverse entertainment.
Traditional Indian dances as old as 3,000 years were performed by Aarthi Dance Group, a Guiness Book record holder founded by Asha Gopal. Encore Dance Academy performed the modern Indian style of Bollywood dancing. WHS math teacher Sreesanth Pillai sang in Malayalam, one of the oldest languages from south India.
Roughly 100 people were in attendance.
The WMS science club started in August of 2019 and has held 14 activities, such as a tree-planting drive and the Chief Science Officers program. Future plans include robotics courses, astronomy night, and field trips to Kartchner Caverns and Copper Queen Mine.
Members of the club are WMS students with a passion for science and technology.
“These are the budding scientists in Willcox. If you keep encouraging them, then I’m sure you’ll have inventors, scientists or engineers,” Bhasme said.
Bhasme attributes part of the STEM club’s success to the school district and a supportive community.
“I appreciate all the help and support extended by our superintendent, Mr. Kevin Davis, our principal, Mr. Patterson, and Dean of Students Mr. Chaims. I am especially grateful to Ms. Maureen Johnston, who has always been a constant supporter of the WMS STEM club.”