Group of students in medical scrubs.
College of the Mainland hosts Duck Into STEM Day for Texas City Independent School District students to explore STEM fields as a potential educational and career path.

From building robotic ducks and breaking geodes, to solving process technology puzzles and constructing balloon rockets, it was a day filled with fascinating adventure for 150 eighth graders from Texas City Independent School District participating in Duck Into STEM Day on Friday, February 23 at College of the Mainland (COM).

During the interactive day of learning, incoming Early College High School (ECHS) students from Blocker Middle School and Giles Middle School explored the captivating world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as part of an ongoing effort to encourage students to pursue STEM fields as a potential educational and career path. These ECHS students will start their college education in the ninth grade and can earn an associate degree from COM by the time they graduate high school.

Working alongside COM faculty for a variety of hands-on activities, students learned about the various STEM fields while exploring potential career paths that can be pursued at COM including nursing and process technology.

“What I like about COM is how we got a lot of help with [the activities],” said Dante De Loera of Blocker Middle School. “We got to do a balloon project where we blow air in it and it goes up. Another thing I liked is how we made a mechanism for a ball to go through and if we got it, we [won] a prize. It’s been amazing. I like it here.”  

Many students left with a better idea of the career path they wanted to pursue after exploring a variety of conference sessions. One well-received session was “Medical Cosplay” where students were introduced to personal protective equipment used in health care and practiced basic nursing skills.

Students in classroom

“I liked how we actually got to go up to the real-life mannequin, and it was just cool,” said Jax Sanchez of Blocker Middle School.

To learn more about the dynamic learning opportunities available at COM, visit