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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

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!

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.

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. http://bit.ly/recyclerush.

FIRST (Por Inspiración y Reconocimiento a la Ciencia y Tecnología, por sus siglas en inglés) el cual realiza la competencia internacional, 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 que me encanta FIRST. Mis hijos participaron en la liga junior de FIRST LEGO robotics; fueron mentores de equipos de LEGOS 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-participates y participantes presentes 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.

“Nuestra meta en los próximos años es doblar el número de equipos y llegar a 100 equipos sostenibles de FRC en Arizona. Necesitamos el apoyo de la comunidad, los voluntarios, el gobierno, la industria, maestros y padres de familia. Les pedimos que sean parte de este esfuerzo a través de sus donaciones y horas de trabajo, para que sean ejemplos para esos estudiantes”, dice Carol Popovich, la directora regional de FIRST. “El éxito de nuestro estado depende de esos programas de STEM, porque ellos desarrollan los talentos necesarios para asegurar una economía fuerte”.

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 “pits” , 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!

Guest Author: Carmen Cornejo, Hispanic community liaison, Arizona SciTech

One of the most energetic STEM events takes place when hundreds of teenagers and their mentors are given six weeks to design, build, program, test and drive robots which perform tasks to win a competition. The competition is the brain child of inventor Dean Kamen, who wants to engage young persons into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) playing a game of knowledge and skill.

The game for the competition is played in a 27′ x 54′ field perfect to be viewed by an always enthusiastic audience who in time will be dancing, chanting and cheering in support of their favorite robotic team.

Here is the animation for Recycle Rush, the game for this year:  http://bit.ly/recyclerush.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotic Competition (FRC) is an organization which seeks to combine the high speed, high energy of sports with STEM.

It is a real challenge that causes engineer mentors to sweat and equips future engineers with problem solving skills.

I must confess I love FIRST. My sons participated in the junior league, LEGO robotics; mentored teams, to later continue with their High School FIRST team where once they have the privilege to represent Arizona in the Nationals.  Their participation made them love engineering and gave them invaluable skills for their future. Now both are Mechanical Engineer students working their own robotics projects on the side.  Besides that, their affiliation to the organization gives them access to a great community of mentors, FIRST alumni and current members which is priceless.

This year is pretty special. FIRST robotics enthusiasm has grown and for the first time Arizona will have two events. Arizona East Regional at Hamilton High School in Chandler on March 18th-21st, and Arizona West Regional, taken place at Grand Canyon University, April 1st.-4th. Hamilton High School is located at 3700 S Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85248. Grand Canyon University is located at 3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017.

“Our goal over the next few years is to double the number of teams and reach 100 sustainable FRC teams in Arizona. We need the help and support of our community, volunteers, government, industry, teachers, and parents. We ask you to be part of that effort through your dollars and hours volunteering, so you can be role models for these students”, says Carol Popovich, FIRST Regional director. “The success of our state depends on such STEM programs, because they develop the talents needed to ensure a strong economy.”

The competition viewing is free, open to the public, could be addictive and propel your family to engage on the world of FIRST robotics. It is also worth mentioning that, taken some safety precautions, you can visit the pit area and talk to the young robot builders and see their machines up-close. Do not miss the opportunity to attend one or both events!

centennial 1 (3)

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (STEAM) is no longer foreign to young students. In fact, more and more elementary schools actively provide their students with outlets to showcase their interest and achievements in STEAM. One of them is Centennial Elementary School with its STEAM Night. The core of the event is about engagement.

“Learning is about active engagement, participation, inquiry, process and collaboration. STEAM demonstrates these elements whereas the traditional science fair model had been a demonstration of acquired knowledge in a rather independent environment.  STEAM Nights reflect relevancy through real world experiences and encourage interaction with various disciplines; i.e., the arts, history, etc. and groups of people such as industry leaders,” says Donna Jagielski, M. Ed., Higley Unified School District’s instructional coach of technology.

Another good thing about the event is, the involvement of families in STEM-based learning. The event gives children the opportunity to share what they are exploring and/or learning with their parents so that parent engagement in education can increase.
“It is not just to educate them about what STEM learning is, but it is to involve them in the experiences,” Jagielski adds.

The event is important for school-age kids because it offers children the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of groups and individuals who provide hands-on, highly engaging activities, which are based in real word experiences. “Many industry partners will be providing activities. This experience gives kids an inside view of what they could be doing as a career or what ‘mysterious’ industries such as SRP actually ‘do’,” Jagielski explains.  Since the school is in a K-12 district, the event also has teacher and student representatives from middle school and high school. That way, there are plenty of age groups to interact act with.

Jagielski believes the event offers something more compared to similar events because it’s a blend of students, K-12, teachers, community and industry. “Most often school-wide events only focus on the students and possibly the immediate community that the school resides in. Our event reaches beyond that and fully incorporates partners in industry,” she says.

The event is only in its second year. But it grows and builds each year as the school refines the event from the year prior. For the most part, schools converted from the science fair model of an event to a STEAM Night a few years ago. In the current format, the event has the ability to engage in hands-on, real world activities amongst a variety of grade level student and teacher leaders in addition to various higher education student STEM groups and industry leaders.

“Visitors should expect to enjoy the event and to be able to participate in the hands-on activities, take with them the take-home activities and handouts , and to continue the learning and fun at home.  Visitors will also have the opportunity to engage in conversation with the industry leaders,” Jagielski states.

Centennial Elementary School STEAM Night illuminates the core philosophy of the SciTech Festival. The event celebrates science through unique platforms in order to reach a wide audience. “Making the world of science accessible to everyone is an important goal to both us and the Arizona SciTech Festival.  The Arizona SciTech Festival benefits from our events because they are multi-generational – crossing boundaries and blending of educational institutions and industries.  We focus on accessibility, creativity, diversity, learning and fun – which reflects the philosophy of the Festival,” Jagielski says.

Centennial Elementary School STEAM Night takes place on 25th of March, 2015 from 5:30PM to 7:30PM, at Centennial Elementary School. Free event.

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Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Summer is the time of the year where kids are happy to have a long break from school but parents are nervous about how they will keep their kids physically and mentally active. A lot of places offer summer camp, but which one to choose? Asking other parents? But every family has different needs and interests, not to mention different sizes of budgets. Reading reviews on the Internet? How much can you trust other people’s opinions, and from random people on the Internet? Or, just pick the most convenient one even though its program is not challenging enough for your kids? But you don’t want to settle for your child, even though this is probably the most likely road taken by parents.

The good news is, there’s actually a better way to find a perfect place for your kids before summer break hits: Camp and Summer Expo, one of Arizona SciTech Festival’s events, hosted by Arizona Parenting Magazine. It’s an annual Camp and Summer Expo at Cabela’s in Glendale. “The event is geared to help families plan summer camps for their children and even summer activities for the entire family,” says Kimberly Fischer, Arizona Parenting Magazine associate publisher.

Now, doesn’t that sound promising to you? How could parents with kids not be excited about this event? If brides-to-be have their own bridal expos, you and your children deserve your own Camp and Summer Expo where you can check out every summer camp and activities offered, to help you choose the best for your kids.

Camp and Summer Expo is a great way to keep kids busy in the summer and even give them opportunity to try new things.  Going on its 9th year, Camp and Summer Expo is a wonderful way for parents to meet with local STEM camps, performing arts, sports, and overnight camps. It’s a perfect way to make summer plans. Kids will be able enjoy and participate in a variety of camp experiences, all the cool activities that they can do in their summer camp. They can also choose to experience a real fishing pond! In short, whatever type of camp experience your child is looking for, Camp and Summer Expo is the place to find it.

“We bring in multiple camp style activities for the kids to try out, including: reptiles, animals, zip lines, archery, rock wall, and arts and crafts. We want the whole family to come out and talk with representatives from local day camps, overnight camps, and other summer activities, as well as enjoy a fun day together enjoying camp style activities,” Fischer explains.

So, parents, don’t just ask around or browse the Internet for hours and days. No more confusion. Camp and Summer Expo makes summer break simple for you and your kids. Just come to the event, focus on what you’re looking for, talk to representatives, let your kids try out some activities, and see if they fit your kids’ interests and needs. And then, sign up, and you can go home and be relieved knowing you picked the best place for your kids to spend summer. You just might be surprised that you’re actually as excited about the summer as your kids are!

Camp and Summer Expo takes place on 21st of March, 2015 from 10:00AM to 3:00PM at Cabela’s Glendale. 

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2Open Door at ASU West - West-side World clas creative STEM Energy

Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Science-based entertainment arrives at Arizona State University West Campus for its Open Door @ West event!

Open Door @ West offers teachers, kids, and life-long learners dozens of events and activities, from natural and behavioral sciences, math, arts, cultural studies and humanities (and of course, the statewide Rubik’s cube competition).

Meet ASU West students, faculty and staff and join in dozens of exciting activities throughout the campus! From video games (designed by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College Center for Games and Impact) to competition in the Cyber Security Challenge to countless hands-on activities, Open Door @ West has something for everyone!

Open Door @ West takes place Saturday, March 28, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Glendale at ASU’s West campus (4701 W. Thunderbird Road).

The event offers a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests, including Create Your Own Board Game, Forensic Science Frenzy, Black Widow Spider Science, Bio-dots to monitor stress, Music Quiz, LEGO Logistics, Meet the Arizona Autobots, Minecraft Photo Booth and more. Other highlights include:

Those with a knack for solving puzzles can enter a Rubik’s Cube competition! All schools, after school programs, and other “Not for Profit” community youth organizations in the State of Arizona, serving ages K-12 can participate. Teams register online before the competition.

ASU’s West Education Outreach and Student Services will be on hand with starch and glue to produce Silly Putty®! Participants will scientifically create the perfect consistency and color. Research shows that hands-on projects help students understand complex concepts more readily and boost self-confidence.

ASU’s New College invites Valley families with students in grades 6-10 to attend “Road to the University,” for knowledge, tools, and resources to help their students prepare for college.  Activities include presentations on preparing for college and financial aid.

Visit Fletcher Library and make your own comic.  Visitors can choose from popular panels such as Marvel, DC, My Little Pony, Adventure Time and more! Combine them in creative ways to personalize your own comic.

Music fans–check out Café West (second floor) to witness “Mysteries of the Harpsichord.” Dr. Guy Whatley, faculty member with ASU’s Lifelong Learning Institute, will showcase the harpsichord and give a brief lecture about the instrument.

For the competitive types, join New College Applied Math faculty for an exciting game show of “Who Wants to be a Mathematician?” at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, or join W.P. Carey’s School of Business to play Frisbee golf on the lawn.

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