Facebook icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Flickr icon

Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

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.

centennial 3 (3)

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. 

SummerExpoAd0215 (3)

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.

alhambra1 (3) (1)

Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Welcome to Lion country! Alhambra High School is gearing up to host its second annual Science Fair and STEAM Expo to showcase the science of art, music, physical education, dance and food, along with natural sciences and math.

The school will offer a variety of events, hands-on activities, demonstrations and science fair entries. For the first time, the school will showcase entries from their pre-school!

Alhambra will host the Science Fair and STEAM Expo on March 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at their campus (3839 W. Camelback Rd.) in Phoenix.

Organizers are excited to see the interest in STEAM growing in our community and are inviting students, parents and community members of all ages to join our students and enjoy the talent showcase.

Science Fair and STEAM Expo offers demonstrations about science, technology, engineering and math in simple, coherent formats.

Alhambra has also presented hands-on activities about how art and music connect to science, math and physics. Expo organizers seek to encourage all disciplines to look at how science, technology, engineering, art and math connect.

Also new this year are presentations on the science of food!

Science is not always as intimidating as we think, and Alhambra invites attendees to take part in thought-provoking events and activities, and to consider a career in the STEAM fields.

Alhambra High School offers Honors, AP and college credit (dual enrollment) courses as well as competitive sports, music, dance, drama and JROTC. The Medical Magnet program prepares students for careers in athletic training, therapy or other medical professions while in high school. Special business programs help prepare students for jobs in Sports and Entertainment Marketing, Accounting or Computer Applications.

Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

If there’s a contest about which organization is most devoted to building active and healthy communities, YMCA could be the winner! In Arizona, that means The Valley of the Sun YMCA, which is one of the oldest nonprofits in the state, born before Arizona became a state. The Y serves over 100,000 families and is located in 18 Arizona communities.

As an important part of the community, the YMCA is also a big supporter of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The Valley of the Sun YMCA knows that STEM is a critical area of development for youth and adults alike. “We are proud to be an Arizona SciTech Festival Signature event this year,” it states on the Valley of the Sun YMCA official website.

With its tagline “Exploring and Experimenting Together,” the YMCA is excited to offer a Family Science and Technology Day. It’s a day of interactive and hands-on science activities for the whole family. The Y believes science and technology can be fun and can be found in so many different activities. “From toddler to adults…there will be activities offered for all ages,” according to the YMCA’s official website.

On the day of Y Science, visitors are welcome to visit their local YMCA. There are 16 Valley of the Sun branch locations. At your choice of Valley of the Sun branch location, you have a free community day from morning to noon to participate in activities and experience the science of wellness through YMCA programs and fitness classes!

So, mark your calendar: on Saturday, March 14, come to nearest location of your neighborhood YMCA. On that day, the YMCA is open for free access to all community members the entire day. It is the best time to do your trial on things you’ve been looking forward to try. Have you been thinking of swimming in YMCA’s big pool? You can do it for free. You can also invite friends and family members to take a group fitness class as well. See if you like the atmosphere, try the equipment, and decide if you want to take your wellness more seriously.

The bottom line is to experiment. So, join the fun for a morning of free science activities and experiments for youth and adults to enjoy. After all, that’s what the YMCA is well known for: making an active life as part of your habit to build wellness.

Y Science takes place on March 14, 2015 from 9:00am to 12:00pm at Valley of the Sun YMCA, offered at all 16 branch locations.

Student innovators use technology tours to showcase learning in all areas

Avondale, Az. – March 9, 2015 – Littleton Elementary School District has embraced learning with technology and is excited to showcase it to the community. On March 13, 2015, Littleton ESD students will join forces with the National Digital Learning Day visionaries to showcase innovations they have experienced thanks to vision of the District. Students in the district throughout grades 3-4 each have 1:1 laptops available for daily instruction and learning at home. Tour participants can expect to see how technology has enhanced learning. Students will be applying the state standards through project based-learning, utilizing online tools, video-conferencing in connected classrooms, instruction integrating 3D printers, and students solving real-world problems.

National Digital Learning Day (NDLD) is celebrated nationwide on March 13 as a way to show the public how digital learning looks in schools today. According to the website, “Digital learning is any instructional practice that effectively uses technology to strengthen a student’s learning experience. Digital learning advances school reform by increasing equity and access to educational opportunities, improving effectiveness and productivity of teachers and administrators, providing student-centered learning to ensure college and career readiness for all students, and recognizing teachers as education designers.”

Dr. Roger Freeman, Superintendent of Littleton Elementary School District #65, shares his support for NDLD, “As students take advantage of the resources that come with mobile internet access, the world of learning changes to anytime anywhere. Each year we provide more and more of our students opportunities to extend both where they learn and when they learn. We are invested in the belief that students must be prepared for a world-wide, technologybased work environment.”

According to Rebecca Coda, a National Board Certified Teacher and NDLD coordinator for the Littleton Elementary School District #65, “The students in each of our schools have been preparing for this real-world opportunity to show how technology is embedded in their daily learning. We will feature two simultaneous tours and guests will have an opportunity to tour three schools. Our students deserve an authentic audience where they can showcase what they know and how they are able to make an impact on our world today.”

To find out more information or sign up for the tours, contact Rebecca Coda, Technology Specialist at 623-478-5887 or coda.rebecca@littletonaz.org

Media contact:
Patti Young, 623-478-5611
young.patti@littletonaz.org
Video, pictures, and interviews available

Pages