Peoria, Illinois,
10:02 AM

STEAM at Home Class Offers Father-Daughter Bonding

While interviewing for a job, Jeff Deaver of Pekin, Illinois saw a flyer for one of the STEAM courses offered through OSF Jump Trading Simulation and Education Center even before he was hired as a performance improvement specialist there. He thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could enroll my daughter in one of these?’

Deaver got the job and not too long after, enrolled his teenage daughter in a mini-med school class where Chloe saw first-hand the Simulation Labs, wore scrubs like a real medical student, and dissected a pig. Deaver said she was in heaven.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago and 17 year-old Chloe Deaver, who wants to be a pediatrician, turned their kitchen table into a home-made lab when she participated in a Shark Lab class offered as part of an online summer STEAM at Home course through the Jump Center.

The dissection kit – which can be mailed or picked up at Jump in Peoria – came with everything needed for the class: two kinds of scissors, a small pair of pliers, a ruler, a tray, a piece of foam to hold the scissors, safety glasses, an apron and of course, the baby shark specimen.

Chloe was blown away by the size.

“It was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. It didn’t even fit on the tray, it was so big. I was completely surprised,” she says.

The instructions require the surface for the dissection be close to a sink so the kitchen table was the best option. Chloe says her father made sure it had lighting worthy of an operating room.

“My dad was actually really funny. He got his work lamp and set it up for me so I had an overhead light so it was set up really nice. It felt very professional doing it,” she recalls.

At least one parent is asked to be nearby to supervise and Chloe was glad to have her dad for potential back-up.

“He sat there the whole time watching me and he thought it was really cool. He joined in on the video session to watch. It was really funny.” 

Jeff Deaver admits it was hard to hold back. He really wanted to join in.

“I tried not to touch while she did everything but it was hard to resist not to peek around and look at stuff. There was also an awesome tie back to my father who was a high school biology teacher. He got a kick out of hearing the dissection story and seeing the pictures and being able to ask her a lot of questions about her experience. That was fun.”

The online STEAM classes offer three sections: 3-5th grade, 5-8th grade and 9th-12 grade. Deaver was impressed with how instructor Shannon Egli was able to keep everyone focused.

Deaver shares, “As far as virtual experiences go, it was about as good as it could be. Shannon did a great job walking them through everything. He obviously could see all the kids, right, because he was making references to them as he went so it was really good.”

The attention to detail also impressed Deaver.

“He had a great way for them to dispose of the shark without making a mess at all. It was really well organized all the way through so I would encourage everyone to give it a try.”

The second STEAM at Home course is called, “(Your) Home Is Where The Heart Is … And All Of The Other Organs Too!” This course uses animal dissection to explain human anatomy through an examination of organs such as the brain and heart and how they’re connected through the various systems of the body. 

Registration is open for both July course offerings for STEAM at Home.


Steam at Home Student Chloe Deaver Interview

Steam at Home Parent Jeff Deaver Interview

Steam at Home B-roll

Shark Dissection B-roll