STEM has the ability to develop a curiosity and thirst for knowledge. An article in How It Works magazine reports a story about a 12 year old from Tennessee, Jackson Oswalt, who created a successful nuclear reaction in his family's playroom. Jackson built a machine that generates a plasma in which nuclear fusion occurs. While a scary idea the project did not involve splitting an atom but instead crushing atoms together to form heavier ones. This project cannot be used to create a bomb or generate enough power than it takes to turn it on. But the process and knowledge taken to undertake and be successful in this project is amazing, especially for a 12 year old hobbyist.
It asks the question, what are your students capable of creating? Where will their interests take them? With open ended, student led projects they are able to take their new knowledge of technology to turn their ideas into reality.