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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Track: STEM Instruction 

Bioinformatics gives students the unprecedented opportunity to mine DNA and protein sequences while working with the same computer tools and data that genome scientists use. Come and learn how to use freely available online tools to guide your students to consolidate their knowledge of biological concepts and discover the connectedness of all life. 

 

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Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: Computer Science and Engineering 

Come watch a free screening of Underwater Dreams, a documentary inspired by our very own Arizona local Fredi Lajvardi and his students from Carl Hayden High School. Then, listen to a Q&A session after the screening ends. 

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“Underwater Dreams, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, and narrated by Michael Peña, is an epic story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build an underwater robot from Home Depot parts. And defeat engineering powerhouse MIT in the process.

This is how it transpired. Two energetic high school science teachers, on a whim, decided to enter their high school, a Title I school where most of the students live in poverty, into a sophisticated underwater robotics competition sponsored by the NASA and the Office of Naval Research, among others. Only four boys signed up for the competition, but once assembled, with enthusiasm and verve, they started calling oceanic engineers and military contractors for design help. They were advised that their underwater robot would require glass syntactic flotation foam. Short on money, all they could afford was PVC pipe from Home Depot.  And some duct tape.

After a few test runs of their robot (aptly named Stinky), the team was confident that they would not come in last at the event, so they all piled into a beat up van to head to the competition.  The boys entered the main pool area, seeing college teams in matching gear, with robots sponsored by the likes of Exxon Mobil. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, the boys put Stinky in the water for a test run.  Only the PVC did not hold up. The robot leaked. And sunk.

The boys put their heads together and hilariously came up with a brilliant solution. 12 hours later, armed with 8 super-plus tampons to plug the leak in Stinky’s mechanical housing, the robot was lowered into the pool again.  Only this time, Stinky performed admirably.

Fast forward to a shocking result. This rag-tag high school team of undocumented Mexican boys did what no one thought possible. The competition, however, was only the beginning. These boys forged a legacy that could not have been imagined.

Narrated by Michael Peña. Written and Directed by Mary Mazzio. Funded by the Bezos Family Foundation and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, with additional support from Babson College, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and others. Executive Producers: Michael Peña, Laurie Tisch, Jackie Bezos, Mike Bezos, John H. Carlson, Hope Pascucci, Mike Pascucci, Jeb Bush, Jr., Stephanie Hunt, Hunter Hunt, Christine Vachon, Sanjay Rawal, and Sarah Lenti.” 

 

Presenters: TBD 

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Careers & Business 

Come learn about the latest and greatest emerging technologies in Ariozna, and learn how they are impacting the future of our state! 

 

Presenters: TBD 

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Instruction 

Teacher’s and student’s experiences affect their interest in STEM which creates ones STEM Identity. Since most learning is done experientially (83%), come and learn how to combine STEM with experientially learning to enhance student’s interest and identity in STEM. This can lead to increase STEM engagement.

Outcomes

1) Learn specific education skills essential to bringing experiential learning into the classroom.

2) Develop practical logistic application to assist teachers to design, implement and prepare set-up stations for hands-on activities.

3) Gain a structured approach to inquiry-based lesson planning as well as resource gathering information that will enable students to make personal connections to the STEM through experiential hands on learning.

Description

This creative and interactive workshop develops knowledge in areas to give teachers the tools to succeed. There are interactive group discussions and creative experiential lessons.

During this interactive learning experience, participants will gain knowledge about the unique and changing role of outdoor STEM education in our changing society. The effects of outdoor STEM education experiences on participants’ beliefs and attitudes about science mirror the STEM goals of increasing student interest, and identity in STEM. Participants will leave this session with concrete ideas about high quality, meaningful STEM integration in grades 3-8.

Interactive exercises:

Schoolyear Ecology Hike-Teacher will go outside to collect things to identify with nature and then make the connection to interest in STEM. This exercise leads to having students develop interest and identity in STEM.

Engineering Pathway: Genetic Engineering-Teachers will handle live Crayfish. E ach group will be assigned to observe one structure/behavior carefully. Draw structures and describe behaviors related to those structures. When scientists draw pictures to understand how something works it is called a model.

STEAM Machine-Teachers will work in teams to build a machine based on Rube Goldberg chain reaction but will have to also market it to the “Shark Tank.” Build all out of duct tape, PVC, mouse traps, wood, dominos etc. Prizes for the STEAM Machine.

Schoolyear Ecology Hike- Participants will go outside to collect things to identify with nature and then make the connection to interest in STEM. This exercise leads to having students develop interest and identity in STEM.

Solar Amusement Park –Participants are introduced to the world of creative engineering product design by completing an actual design challenge presented in six steps.

Abstract-The interactive activities and other suggested ones can help student gain interest and identity in STEM. Recent research found that by the fourth grade, one-third of student’s loss interest in STEM subjects. By eighth grade, the number jumps up to 50%. Also, many students’ interest in STEM is hindered by the lack of being able to envision themselves in STEM careers. The more experiences they have in different areas of STEM, the more likely they are to pursue STEM careers. Using experiential STEM exercises could lead students to begin a path in STEM and develop career readiness in this area. The current demand for STEM-capable workers surpasses the supply of applicants who have trained for those careers. 16 of the 20 occupations with the largest projected growth in the next decade are STEM related, but only 4 of them require an advanced degree.

During this session they learn specific outdoor education skills essential to bringing experiential learning into the classroom, learn practical planning a logistic skills to prepare them to design, implement and prepare set-up stations for hands-on activities. They will gain a structured approach to inquiry-based lesson planning as well as resource gathering information that will enable students to make personal connections to the activities.

 

Presenter

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Instruction 

WebVR is an exciting new technology that allows developers to create VR experiences that anyone can use as long as they have a browser with internet access. During this workshop, we will show you how to use HTML code and a software framework called A-Frame to create 360-degree tours that work on desktops, on mobile phones, and in VR headsets. If you would like to participate in the workshop portion, you will need a mobile phone with Google Street View installed to take 360-degree photos and a laptop with an internet browser to update the code with your photos. The topic of 360-degree tours works well for teaching VR to newcomers, and can also be a good introduction to web development. You do not need coding experience to participate in this workshop. 

 

Presenters: TBD 

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Education 

The DISCOVERoom is a science and engineering playroom started by parents in 2 schools in the Kyrene School district. It’s aim is give kids more opportunities for self-directed science and engineering inquiry (i.e. scienc and engineering ‘play’). It also seeks to be the hub of a STEM echo-system with the student and their families at the center, and school as the medium by which to engage kids with STEM community professionals from ASU and local industries. 

 

Presenter

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Instruction 

STEM Revolution brings a comprehensive, proven program to schools, school districts, and communities around the globe. Our company offers a full methodology with entry points that include world-class STEM Teacher Training, a mobile classroom (the STEM Bus), cutting-edge camps, after school workshops, and strategic STEM planning roadmaps for schools. Designed by Stanford and MIT PhDs, our programs use the latest technology such as virtual reality, drones, and robotics, to teach skills anyone can take with them into the classroom and beyond.

In this session, participants will explore and play with drones while identifying some realistic ways a teacher could integrate drones into their curriculum. Participants will have the opportunity to fly our Parrot Drone and check out our thermal camera. We will also be exploring a variety of classroom activities related to Bernoulli’s Principle to better understand the science behind drones. Can you use a drone in Language Arts, Social Studies, PE, Math, etc? You bet you can! We’ll show you how. 

 

Presenter

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: STEM Instruction 

Come learn about how your students can become involved with First LEGO League, a premiere. What is First LEGO League? 

Tomorrow’s innovators practice imaginative thinking and teamwork. Guided by two or more adult Coaches, FIRST LEGO League* teams (up to 10 members, grades 4-8**) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build, program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a table-top playing field. 

Presenters: TBD 

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: Computer Science and Engineering 

Students are entering a world where the ability to work with computers is the number one technical skill. You can help them learn to code! Even if you have no computer skills yourself, come learn how AZ kids are getting a great start with coding. Panelists have all had direct experience helping kids learn to code.

 

Presenters: TBD 

 

Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!  

Track: Art, Design Through STEM 

The student winners of the 2017 National STEM Video Game Challenge were just announced last month at the Games for Change Festival in New York City. Be among the first to play the games made by some of the country’s emerging middle and high school students. 
 
Learn how you can level up from player to maker! Experience a learning quest or design your own original video game using the Gamestar Mechanic online platform. All participants will receive a free subscription so they can continue the making at home. 
 
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Register for the 7th Annual Arizona SciTech Festival Kickoff Conference: “Building Arizona’s STEM Ecosystem” today!
  

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