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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Would you like to take a trip back in time? Do you fancy activities like exploring the past through hands-on activities and presentations? If that’s your interest, you should come to Verde Valley Archaeology Fair. “The Verde Valley Archaeology Fair provides the public with the opportunity to learn about the methods and procedures of the science of Archaeology, and to learn about the prehistoric cultures that have made the Verde Valley their home for over 12,000 years,” says Ken Zoll, executive director of Verde Valley Archaeology Center.

Zoll says the event allows school-age kids to learn about archaeology and perhaps will inspire them to further their interest in this field. “It also helps to instill the importance of conservation and preservation,” he adds.

The event is held during Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month on the last weekend in March. It is the fourth annual Archaeology Fair, and it’s been recognized among the  “Signature Events” of the Arizona SciTech Festival. “The event also includes our Fifth Annual Invitational American Indian Art Show, featuring over 30 Hopi, Navajo, Zuni and New Mexico pueblo artists,” Zoll explains.

There is a lot to do at Verde Valley Archaeology Fair. The Fair offers free lectures on a variety of Archaeology-related themes. In addition, the Fair includes an International Archaeology Film Festival.  “This year we are featuring two Arizona first-run films,” Zoll says. Agave is Life is a film that unveils the 10,000 year-old of mankind’s relationship with the agave plant, narrated by Edward James Olmos. The other one is the documentary feature film, Dance of the Maize God. It enters the world of the Mayan vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya.

So, don’t miss out. Come to this free event, and learn about the past in entertaining ways. “Each year over 3,000 visitors take away with them a better understanding of archaeology and of the area’s prehistoric cultures,” Zoll states. And if you feel like buying Indian arts, there’s also the Annual Indian Art Show with artists from Hopi, Navajoland, Zuni, and several New Mexico Pueblo Communities. Visitors can see artists demonstrate their medium as well as buying their work available for sale.

The Fair is coinciding with a new exhibit at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center — the Return of the Camp Verde Meteorite.  This 135-pound meteorite was discovered in a prehistoric Native American ruin in 1915 wrapped in a turkey feather blanket, signifying a sacred purpose.  The meteorite was displayed in the former Sedona Meteorite Museum until 1960 when it was sold to ASU’s Center for Meteorite Studies.  The meteorite will be on loan from ASU for a six-month exhibit beginning on March 1.  Visitors to the Fair can tour this exhibit and hear a lecture about its origin and return.

Lectures, hands-on activities, films, Indian Art Show, and now Meteorite? I’d say you better mark your calendars and go to the event. It’s not everyday you can have all this fun and learn about Arizona in the past. And the meteorite?  Well, that sounds too good to pass up!

Verde Valley Archaeology Fair takes place on the 28th to 29th of March 2015 at the Camp Verde Community Center and Verde Valley Archaeology Center.

VerdeValley Arch 3 (3)

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Calling all Verde Valley residents and students and all those interested in taking a day trip. The Verde Valley SciTech is here! Bring yourself, your friends, and family! Why so excited, you might wonder? Because the Verde Valley festival includes many varied and exciting activities, demonstrations and exhibits. They all take place throughout the Verde Valley at various locations. “Kids and attendees of all ages will be amazed and transfixed by all the different activities and demonstrations that involve one or more aspects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math),” says Alexandra Helm, Office of Instruction and Student Services of Yapavai College.

Of course, who wouldn’t be amazed by rides in a helicopter simulator? Or would not enjoy pottery glazing? Want something more thrilling? How about firing demonstrations? Adults would definitely appreciate tours of the new state-of-the-art winery. The Verde Art Gallery also presents local artists.

The Festival is an extension of the statewide Arizona SciTech. Having the Arizona SciTech Festival as the foundation for STEAM events helps promote local communities’ festivals and creates a synergy of STEAM energy. The Festival itself is a showcase of student projects and business and industries whose products and services include STEAM education and skills. “This event showcases the exciting things happening in and around STEAM in the Verde Valley; and it will expand the horizons of the participants by helping them understand how these concepts pertain to their everyday lives,” Helm explains.

Exposing children, teens, and their parents to all things STEAM seems the best way to encourage our kids to choose a career in one of these areas. That’s why it’s always good to go to as many SciTech festivals as we can. The Verde Valley SciTech Festival can take part in inspiring your kids to pursue their dreams in a STEAM field.

“The entire festival is very exciting because there is so much happening during the week throughout the Verde Valley to promote STEAM. It has been a wonderful collaboration between businesses, municipalities and organizations pulling together to roll-out the red carpet when it comes to STEAM. From a GPS caching scavenger hunt to a ride in the helicopter simulator, there are many exciting activities happening throughout the week,” Helm describes.

In its second year, the festival also features a passport program, whereby attendees can win prizes. A passport can be picked up at any one of the events during the week. Once six punches are earned the passport is entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes. The drawing takes place during the signature Verde Valley SciTech Expo on Friday evening.

Visitors of all ages are welcome at this free event, so take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Learn, think, and of course, have fun. “By taking in as many of the events as possible, we hope all of the attendees to the Verde Valley SciTech Festival will gain an appreciation of STEAM and how it affects our everyday lives. We expect many of those attending to be inspired by all STEAM possibilities the Verde Valley has to offer,” Helm says.

The Verde Valley SciTech Expo takes places on 27th of March, 2015 at The Yapavai College-Verde Valley campus. It is part of a week-long Verde Valley SciTech Festival (March 22-28).

VerdeValley SciTech 1 (3)

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Calling all Verde Valley residents and students and all those interested in taking a day trip. The Verde Valley SciTech is here! Bring yourself, your friends, and family! Why so excited, you might wonder? Because the Verde Valley festival includes many varied and exciting activities, demonstrations and exhibits. They all take place throughout the Verde Valley at various locations. “Kids and attendees of all ages will be amazed and transfixed by all the different activities and demonstrations that involve one or more aspects of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math),” says Alexandra Helm, Office of Instruction and Student Services of Yapavai College.

Of course, who wouldn’t be amazed by rides in a helicopter simulator? Or would not enjoy pottery glazing? Want something more thrilling? How about firing demonstrations? Adults would definitely appreciate tours of the new state-of-the-art winery. The Verde Art Gallery also presents local artists.

The Festival is an extension of the statewide Arizona SciTech. Having the Arizona SciTech Festival as the foundation for STEAM events helps promote local communities’ festivals and creates a synergy of STEAM energy. The Festival itself is a showcase of student projects and business and industries whose products and services include STEAM education and skills. “This event showcases the exciting things happening in and around STEAM in the Verde Valley; and it will expand the horizons of the participants by helping them understand how these concepts pertain to their everyday lives,” Helm explains.

Exposing children, teens, and their parents to all things STEAM seems the best way to encourage our kids to choose a career in one of these areas. That’s why it’s always good to go to as many SciTech festivals as we can. The Verde Valley SciTech Festival can take part in inspiring your kids to pursue their dreams in a STEAM field.

“The entire festival is very exciting because there is so much happening during the week throughout the Verde Valley to promote STEAM. It has been a wonderful collaboration between businesses, municipalities and organizations pulling together to roll-out the red carpet when it comes to STEAM. From a GPS caching scavenger hunt to a ride in the helicopter simulator, there are many exciting activities happening throughout the week,” Helm describes.

In its second year, the festival also features a passport program, whereby attendees can win prizes. A passport can be picked up at any one of the events during the week. Once six punches are earned the passport is entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes. The drawing takes place during the signature Verde Valley SciTech Expo on Friday evening.

Visitors of all ages are welcome at this free event, so take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Learn, think, and of course, have fun. “By taking in as many of the events as possible, we hope all of the attendees to the Verde Valley SciTech Festival will gain an appreciation of STEAM and how it affects our everyday lives. We expect many of those attending to be inspired by all STEAM possibilities the Verde Valley has to offer,” Helm says.

The Verde Valley SciTech Expo takes places on 27th of March, 2015 at The Yapavai College-Verde Valley campus. It is part of a week-long Verde Valley SciTech Festival (March 22-28).

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Johnathan-Keats

Author:  Juno Schaser, ASU Art Museum

The City of Tempe has been selected to represent the evolution of world civilization over the next thousand years.

On March 6, the ASU Art Museum will install a camera designed by experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats to take a millennium-long photograph of the evolving Tempe skyline. The museum will unveil the photograph in a month-long exhibition scheduled for spring 3015.

“The first people to see this picture will be children who haven’t yet been conceived,” says Keats. “They’re impacted by every choice we make, but they’re powerless. If they can’t influence our decisions, at least they can bear witness.”

To document the next thousand years of Tempe civilization, Keats has conceived a new approach to photography based on the traditional pinhole camera.

“My photographic time capsule is extremely simple, since anything complicated is liable to break,” Keats states.

The solid metal camera uses oil paint in place of ordinary film. Pierced through a plate of 24-karat gold, a minuscule pinhole focuses light on the colored pigment, such that the color fades most where the light is brightest, very slowly creating a unique positive image of the scene in front of the camera.

“The photograph not only shows the skyline, but also records how it develops over time,” Keats explains. “For instance, old houses torn down after a couple centuries will show up only faintly, as if they were ghosts haunting the skyscrapers that replace them.”

Learn more.

Photo caption: Jonathon Keats will take a millennium-long photograph of the evolving Tempe skylinewith a camera installed at ASU Art Museum.
Image courtesy of the artist; photo by Jen Dessinger.

Cottonwood Public Library will participate in the Verde Valley SciTech Festival between March 24 and March 27.

March 24 at 10am features  Tiny Tot Time that includes Kaleidoscope Gears for little ones.

Kids ages 10-14 may join in on March 25, for Crafty Clan where Steampunk Treasure boxes will be made! Pre School Story Time, March 26, at 10:00am includes stories about science or technology as well as time to explore the Kaleidoscope Gears. At 3:30pm on Thursday a movie will be shown about a wondrous parallel world where witches soar the skies and Ice Bears rule the frozen North.

Friday, March 27, is jam-packed with activities for the finale from 2:00-5:00pm.  From 2pm-4pm, Chris Guerra, Project Specialist from the State Library will be demonstrating his 3-D printer. Demonstrations of the Library Snap Circuits and other STEAM kits will be ongoing in the STEAM corner in Youth Services.  From 3:30-4:30pm, YS Staff will be demonstrating the Library’s new Sphero 2.0 and our Cubelets!

An Animation Workshop and a Lego Robotics Workshop from 4:00-5:00pm will also be happening in the Teen Hideaway area. Lastly from 4:30-5:00pm demonstrations of the new Ozobots will take place! All activities take place in Youth Services at the Cottonwood Public Library. For more information, call Youth Services staff at 928-340-2788, or visit the library website, www.ctwpl.info

Cottonwood Sci-Tech Festival Flyer (3)

 

Cottonwood Public Library will participate in the Verde Valley SciTech Festival between March 24 and March 27.

March 24 at 10am features  Tiny Tot Time that includes Kaleidoscope Gears for little ones.

Kids ages 10-14 may join in on March 25, for Crafty Clan where Steampunk Treasure boxes will be made! Pre School Story Time, March 26, at 10:00am includes stories about science or technology as well as time to explore the Kaleidoscope Gears. At 3:30pm on Thursday a movie will be shown about a wondrous parallel world where witches soar the skies and Ice Bears rule the frozen North.

Friday, March 27, is jam-packed with activities for the finale from 2:00-5:00pm.  From 2pm-4pm, Chris Guerra, Project Specialist from the State Library will be demonstrating his 3-D printer. Demonstrations of the Library Snap Circuits and other STEAM kits will be ongoing in the STEAM corner in Youth Services.  From 3:30-4:30pm, YS Staff will be demonstrating the Library’s new Sphero 2.0 and our Cubelets!

An Animation Workshop and a Lego Robotics Workshop from 4:00-5:00pm will also be happening in the Teen Hideaway area. Lastly from 4:30-5:00pm demonstrations of the new Ozobots will take place! All activities take place in Youth Services at the Cottonwood Public Library. For more information, call Youth Services staff at 928-340-2788, or visit the library website, www.ctwpl.info

Cottonwood Sci-Tech Festival Flyer (3)

 

1Hackster Hardware Weekend

The Hackster Hardware Weekend traveling show is coming to the Phoenix area next Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, in their hackable DeLorean DMC12.

Microchip will be there too, delivering the keynote speech. Food, tools, soldering stations and hardware kits will be provided for your team to hack with. You just need to bring your creativity and enthusiasm. Learn more about the Hackster Hardware Weekend here: http://mchp.us/1O6pHbe. Sign up for the Phoenix event here and save $5 off the admission price with discount code MicrochipVIP: http://mchp.us/1FALiVI

2Salsa Festival

Guest Author: Debbie Gubernick, science writer, Arizona SciTech; DebbieDoesSTEAM.com

The Maricopa Salsa Festival, now in its 11th year, brings together over 15,000 people for a grand celebration that includes salsa competitions, music, entertainment, crafts, and food. But this year, festival organizers wanted to bring a new element into the event, something that would unite the community under the banner of technology and innovation—Maricopa Science City was born.

Maricopa Science City is a collaborative effort of the Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, UltraStart Multi-tainment Center, Maricopa Unified School District, University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center, the Ak-Chin Community, and the City of Maricopa. It is also an Arizona SciTech Signature event.

Science City’s collaborators have created an event to highlight the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that is both integral to Arizona’s present economy, and that will also propel the state’s future economic success.

During a recent Arizona SciTech press conference, Maricopa Mayor Christian Price talked about why he is excited about the addition of Science City to the Salsa Festival: “I already see that benefits that are coming are tenfold in the fact that the Maricopa Unified School District is on board.” He added, “I’m very excited to create the STEM program that is going to grow and take our folks to new heights.”

Science City will feature hands-on interactive activities where people can discover the STEM that is happening right now in Maricopa.

Robotics will be the focus of the Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation’s exhibit. Visitors will assemble working robots from pieces provided by STEAM’s Vex Robotics teams. In addition, produce grown in the STEAM aquaponics greenhouse will be displayed, along with information about the foundation’s aquaponics program.

The UA Maricopa Agricultural Center will bring several displays and exhibits, including a mobile water lab that measures water quality.

Student teams from Maricopa Unified School District’s middle schools, Desert Wind Middle School and Maricopa Wells Middle School, will showcase the interactive displays from their recent participation in the Future City Competition™.

Mathematics takes center stage at the Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino exhibit, where visitors will learn about probability. And for folks ages 21 and over, Harrah’s will offer wine-infused ice cream to make learning about the odds more enjoyable.

Maricopa police and fire departments will discuss the science involved in their vehicles. Technology has revolutionized public safety, so this is a terrific opportunity to get a better understanding of how STEM keeps people safer.

UltraStart Multi-tainment Center will present the science of popcorn.

Rachael Burno, a member of the Maricopa Ak-Chin STEAM Foundation’s board of directors, emphasized that Maricopa Science City is an event that will engage people young and old: “Yes, there is some for kids and some for adults! Did I mention wine-infused ice cream??? There will be activities that kids and adults of all ages can participate in.”

Maricopa Science City at the Maricopa Salsa Festival
Saturday, March 28, 2015
3:00–7:00 p.m.
Copper Sky Regional Park
Maricopa, AZ

P83 BLOG PHOTO - homepartyraecasey2

Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, science writer, AZ SciTech

Things are starting to STEAM up in Peoria, AZ as the West Valley prepares to welcome 7,000-10,000 visitors to their 6th Annual P83 Event!

This jazz fest will be more than an opportunity to just enjoy good country music.  You will find plenty of booths with fun learning activities for the whole family.

Science, technology, engineering, art, and technology merge together for this great event as country pop stars RaeLynn and Casey James light up the stage!  RaeLynn is well known for her innovative video talent and Casey for his ability to creatively fuse blues with contemporary music.

West Mariners Way and Stadium Way, across from the Peoria Sports Complex, will be closed down, as will 83rd Street so patrons can wander the streets enjoying all the fun and entertainment.

The event will be held on March 21 from 3 p.m.- 6 p.m.

General admission: $10

VIP admission:  $30

Children under 12, accompanied by an adult are free.

Attendees to any Peoria Spring Training get in free with ticket stub.

As a Signature Event of the Arizona SciTech Festival and all patrons who bring their printed Festival programs can get them stamped towards winning prizes! You can also get programs at the AZ SciTech Fest’s exhibit booth during the event.

Por Carmen Cornejo, Relaciones con la Comunidad Hispana

Uno de los eventos STEM con mas energía se lleva a cabo cuando a cientos de adolescentes y sus mentores se les dan 6 semanas para diseñar, construir, programar, probar y manejar un robot el cual realizará ciertas tareas para ganar una competencia. Esta competencia es la creación del inventor Dean Kamen quien busca involucrar a los jóvenes en la ciencia, la tecnología, la ingeniería y las matemáticas (STEM por sus siglas en Ingles) jugando un juego de conocimiento y habilidades.
El juego para la competencia se juega en un campo de 27’x54’ pies, lo que cabe en un campo de basquetbol y lo hace perfecto para ser visto por una siempre entusiasta audiencia quienes rápidamente estarán bailando, echando porras y gritando en apoyo a su equipo robótico favorito.
Aquí está la animación “Recycle Rush” el juego de este año.

FIRST (Por Inspiración y Reconocimiento a la Ciencia y Tecnología, por sus siglas en Inglés) es una organización que busca combinar la alta velocidad y alta energía de los deportes con STEM.
Es un reto real que pone ingenieros y mentores a sudar y entrena a ingenieros del futuro con habilidades para resolver problemas.

Debo confesar mi amor por FIRST. Mis hijos participaron en la liga junior de FIRST LEGO robotics; fueron mentores de equipos para luego continuar formando parte de los equipos de High School de FIRST donde tuvieron el privilegio de representar a Arizona en la competencia Nacional. Su participación hizo que amaran a la ingeniería y el diseño de maquinarias y les dio valiosas habilidades para su futuro. Ahora ambos son estudiantes de Ingeniería Mecánica y trabajan en sus propios proyectos robóticos con un pequeño grupo de amigos. Además, su afiliación a la organización les da acceso a una comunidad maravillosa de mentores, ex-participantes y participantes actuales de FIRST que es invaluable.

Este año es muy especial. El entusiasmo por FIRST ha crecido y por primera vez en Arizona tendremos dos eventos. La Regional del Este en la escuela High School de Hamilton en Chandler, y la Regional del Oeste que se llevará a cabo en Grand Canyon University, del 1 al 4 de abril.

La escuela Hamilton High School está localizada en 3700 S. Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85248.
Grand Canyon University está localizada en el 3300 W. Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017.
El público puede ver la competencia gratis con la debida advertencia que puede ser adictiva y podría involucrar a miembros de tu familia en las competencias de robótica de FIRST. También es importante mencionar que, tomando ciertas precauciones, tú puedes visitar el área de pit y hablar con los jóvenes creadores del robot y ver de cerca a las maquinas.
¡No te pierdas la oportunidad de asistir a uno o los dos eventos!

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