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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

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Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Are you interested in taking advantage of a fantastic opportunity to find other families busy communicating, creating and problem solving while honing their science, technology, engineering, art and math skills? Then, Coronado Elementary STEAM Night is ready to launch and may be the place for you!

The action begins on February 12,th at 5:30 p.m. at Coronado School in Gilbert.  The event will run until 7 p.m.  This is the second year that Art has been incorporated into the event, adding an even greater flare than last year.  Each grade level will be focusing on a specific aspect of STEAM.

The work of these young artists will be on display in the cafeteria.  Local businesses and programs will also join in with exciting hands-on activities for this year’s theme, “Water.”  Students will complete a passport as they move through the activities during the event.

The event involves the community and it helps to increase public understanding and new insights surrounding STEAM and how it is part of our ever day lives.

The company that designed the original Transformers will be visiting the campus with one of their cars, so that students and families can check them out in person. A spokesperson will also be on site to explain how STEM skills are crucial in almost all work environments today.

The mission will be accomplished when attendees leave with a thirst for more STEM/STEAM.  So climb aboard for take-off!

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Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

There’s always a first time for everything, including a STEM event. And as a proud first time Festival participant, the Festival is rich with activities. Gila Valley Health, Safety & Science Festival will feature many hands-on science and health activities for families, students, and seniors. “The Festival is a celebration of the scientific and technological businesses, organizations, educational institutions and private and public research going on in the Gila Valley, driving innovation and growing the economy for the future,” says Angela Laskarides, sr. program coordinator, Lodestar Center, Arizona State University.

The Festival is a collaboration with the Arizona SciTech movement seeking to foster student and community interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) which will carry our state’s economy through the next 100 years. In short, the festival is very important for school-age kids and their families. Visitors will see a showcase of the amazing technology and innovation in Gila Valley businesses, health services, education and environmental research and preservation.

“The event is important to kids and their families for discovery of the science, technology, engineering and math careers in the Gila Valley and to see how fun, exciting and diverse the study of science topics can be! We hope they will choose a science career and use it to enhance the local economy and community,” Laskarides states.

Furthermore, Mt. Graham Regional Health Center’s existing health fair was expanded to enhance the existing health science activities and expand into other areas of science — such as astronomy, engineering, chemistry, solar energy, mining and outdoor sciences, including agriculture. “The outstanding generosity of Mt. Graham Regional Health Center for expanding its existing event to include SciTech activities and the excellent work and commitment of staff at Eastern Arizona College to involve the community in truly fun participatory events,” she explains.

So, what does the festival expect from the visitors? “Smiles, amazement, wonder, laughter, and wow,” says Laskarides. The probability, of course, is very high, considering the festival offers so many hands-on activities for kids and their families that they can do together.

As for the collaboration with Arizona SciTech Festival, Laskarides says the annual festival helps in promotion, understanding of how science relates to jobs in local communities’ futures, enhancing businesses’ understanding that promoting science and technology studies makes for a better workforce, better standard of living, better quality of life for all.

Gila Valley Health, Safety & Science Festival takes place on Feb 27th & 28th, 2015.

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Guest Author: Rita Standerfer, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Does the scientific method appeal to you? Need some ideas for a Science Fair project? Got plans for Valentine’s Day?

Come share your ideas and enthusiasm with like-minded citizen scientists at We Love Science Day, a fun-filled science celebration with something for everyone! Engage in science-based crafts and activities; observe ongoing scientific experiments; and meet scientists in Archaeology, Paleontology, Geology, Astronomy and other fields.

We Love Science Day takes place February 14, from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa.

This inaugural event will engage diverse science learners to participate in the scientific process through fun, interactive experiments. Scientists from various fields will be on hand to speak with attendees of all ages about their projects and how they entered the field.

We Love Science Day provides students with “testable” experiments related to either a hypothesis or well known facts. The event will feature a diverse range of demonstrations to appeal to multiple fields of interest, to spark curiosity and to inspire science learners to consider a career in the STEM field.

For more information, contact the AzMNH at:

Phone: (480) 644-2230

Email AzMNH.info@mesaaz.gov

Facebook: facebook.com/azmnh1

Twitter  @AzMNH

Instagram @AzMNH

The Arizona Museum of Natural History is a science-based institution with active research staff in Archaeology and Paleontology. The museum provides interactive programs that introduce visitors to the wonders and contributions of science to our society, culture and world.

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Por Carmen Cornejo, Coordinadora STEM con la Comunidad Hispana

Algunos temen el “Viernes 13”. Hay películas de horror que presentan imágenes espeluznantes y la cultura popular ha impuesto mitos a esa fecha. Existe incluso la triskadekaphobia, que es la fobia a los Viernes 13.

Esta vez el Viernes 13 de Febrero de 2015 será uno de los más divertidos de la ciencia y tecnología de todo el año cuando estudiantes y maestros de la Escuela Carl Hayden Community High School unirán fuerzas para crear “Spooky Night Out” la Escalofriante Noche del Viernes 13, llena de ciencia, experimentos, autos eléctricos y mucha más diversión.

Tú probablemente has escuchado de la afamada escuela secundaria ya que han estado recientemente en las noticias y hasta en la pantalla grande. El documental “Underwater DREAMs” ha sido exhibido a través del país el otoño pasado, y la película “Spare Parts” esta siendo exhibida en cines de todo el país. Ambos filmes muestran a su manera la saga de estudiantes y maestros del equipo de robótica de Carl Hayden Falcon Robotics el cual se encarga de ganar competencias de robótica año tras año.

Hay gran talento en nuestras escuelas a pesar de los obstáculos. El Viernes 13 de Febrero es tu día de espeluznante suerte para que conozcas a este grupo de jóvenes y maestros y disfrutes de la ciencia.

¡El evento es gratuito! ¡Lleva a tu familia de 4:00 PM to 8:00PM!

Carl Hayden Community High School está localizada en el 3333 W. Roosevelt St. Phoenix, 85009

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Guest Author: Carmen Cornejo, Hispanic Community Outreach

Some are afraid of “Friday the 13th”. There are horror movies about it and the pop culture has put a lot of spooky images associated with this date. There is even triskadekaphobia, which is the phobia to Friday the 13th.

This time February the 13th, 2015 will be one of the luckiest days for science and technology of the year, when students and teachers at Carl Hayden Community High School will join forces to create a Spooky Night Out full of science experiments, electric cars, and much more fun.

You probably have heard of the famed high school since students and teachers have been on the news recently. The documentary Underwater DREAMs was exhibited around the country last fall, and the fictional movie Spare Parts is being shown at movie theaters everywhere. Both films depict their own way the saga of the Carl Hayden Falcon Robotics team which manages to win robotics competitions year after year.

There is a lot of talent in our schools, in spite of the challenges. Friday, March the 13th is your lucky day to get to know great students and teachers at Carl Hayden and enjoy Sci -Tech.

Event free! Bring the whole family from 4:00 PM to 8:00PM!

Carl Hayden Community High School is located at 3333 W. Roosevelt St. Phoenix 85009

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Guest Author: Lisa Herrmann, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Bring the whole family together to experience one of the Signature Events of the Arizona SciTech Festival, ASU’s Night of the Open Door.  Visitors will explore the Polytechnic campus on Friday, February 20 from 5-8:30 pm.

“Night of the Open Door is an opportunity to bring the whole family out for an evening of hands-on activities in the labs, classrooms and across the Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus,” says NOD Polytechnic Campus Director Carolyn Starr. “For so many people, ASU Poly is right in their back yard and they have never been on this campus, let alone in our classrooms or labs, or it’s been a few years. There is not much time to see it all so visitors are encouraged to show up at 5:00 p.m., grab a bite at our eateries and plan on staying until it ends! You’ll have a great night!”

This exciting evening includes:

Plasma Phonic, a musical performance group that performs with two 7 foot tall musical Tesla coils and a fully robotic drum set. The musical Tesla coils play music with 23 feet of pure plasma. The entire setup is computer controlled and features custom sequenced music.

Come check out the Ottosen Air Traffic Control Simulation Lab which houses the Tower, En Route and Radar simulators! Plus, the new King Air Flight Simulator and CRJ200 Regional Jet Simulator will be open for tours!

See anatomy up close! Youngsters can explore models of the human skeleton and muscles, microscopic views of cells, and interactive 3D models of the eye, heart and inner ear. Preserved organ specimens (animal) will be available for the older ones to observe.

Explore the microscopic world of plants, seeds, butterflies, bees and aphids — then plant a seed to take home and grow. Check out the living collection of desert snakes, lizards and a desert tortoise!

Build your own hovercraft with the assistance of ASU physics instructors. Test how fast yours will go by racing against other hovercrafts!

Participate in a series of consumer experiments and surveys at the Morrison School of Agribusiness Consumer Research Lab.

Build a chain reaction machine out of junk to pop a balloon in the STEAM Labs Center for K-12 Research + Engagement!

Separate the colors found in plants, such as spinach, using chromatography — the process used by scientists to determine what vitamins plants contain. Create colorful artwork to take home!

Try your hand at some classic video games and get a feel for ChangeMaker Central’s GameCon event. Student Change Agents will tell you how game theory has useful applications in a wide range of careers.

Make sure you stop by the ASU EcoCAR 3 station where the student team will explain how they will be transforming an iconic Chevrolet Camaro into a hybrid-electric vehicle! There will be hands-on activities directed toward grades 5-8, but even those young at heart can join in on the fun!

Campus location: 7001 E. Williams Field Rd., Mesa, AZ 85212. Parking is free for this event and there will be a trolley to take guests to different parts of the campus.

PREGISTER HERE https://opendoor.asu.edu/registration-form  FOR EXPRESS CHECK IN.

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Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

A day to celebrate the community.  This is what students, teachers, and community members recognize as they collaborate to present the 2015 Vail Pride Day. The event is a Vail School District community tradition, founded in 1999 by Governing Board Member Anne Gibson. “It is a day to honor and showcase the many successes of our students, staff, volunteers, clubs, businesses, and community service organizations. It is also a great opportunity to come together and celebrate the wonderful, caring community of Vail,” says Aron Schmidt from 2015 Vail Pride Day.

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, the community will gather to appreciate those doing great work in the school district and Vail’s successes in general. There will be booths, entertainment, and a festive atmosphere. The Vail Pride Day is addressed for students of all ages.

Students will enjoy a lot of activities. One of them is the popular Academic Jeopardy and Math Bowl Competitions. Watching them compete, visitors can see how competitive school-age kids can be. “Our event hosts the district Math Bowl and Academic Jeopardy events. Additionally, the event highlights district science and educational displays. The district can benefit from the support provided and legitimacy given by association through the Arizona SciTech Festival,” Schmidt explains.

Of course, it’s not all about being the smartest. There’s a Fun Run where kids can participate and have a lot of fun in doing physical activities. Visitors can also see classroom, educational, art and science displays, special performances, and have the opportunity to learn about local organizations.

“There will also be loads of delicious food and fundraising activities that help support Vail School organizations and clubs,” Schmidt states. Delicious food and fun activities, what’s not to like? After all, the event planners anticipate that visitors will enjoy the activities, displays, and performance. And most of all, “The highlight is the pride that community members have in celebrating the caring community of Vail,” he adds.

Even though the event honors the caring community, it’s open to the public. So, if you happen to be in the area, why not stop by and see how great the community is? Join the crowd, enjoy the fun, see how great kids can be, and bring home some valuable lessons. Hopefully, this great event will continue to take place annually and will just keep getting better with age.

Vail Pride Day takes place on Feb 21, 2015

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

How can Arizona students unlock the door to career success? One answer is Tucson’s Key 2 Employment for the 21st Century Symposium, presented by the Metropolitan Education Commission, and an Arizona SciTech Festival Signature Event.

Although two-thirds of Arizona’s jobs require some form of higher education, less than half of Arizona’s students graduate on time and ready for college.  On Wednesday, February 11, students from four area high schools will visit the University of Arizona campus to attend workshops and meet representatives from fields ranging from health care and veterinary care, to law enforcement, armed forces, and manufacturers, to counter these statistics and prepare these students for the workforce of tomorrow. They will also have the chance to speak one-on-one with college instructors and Graduate students from the UA and Pima Community College to find out about the degree programs they offer, where the degrees lead in terms of careers, and most importantly, what students need to do right now to be ready to enter the programs after graduation.

After arriving at Old Main, students will tour the UA Mall with UA Student Life volunteers. For many of teens, this will be their first visit to campus, so it gives them a chance to soak in the feel of the campus and imagine themselves taking classes there one day.

The tour concludes at the UA Student Union, where 60 exhibitors will be ready to talk with students about study and career options. Students will participate in hands-on demonstrations and have time to talk with the instructors, Graduate students, and industry professionals.

High-tech careers are a big focus of Key 2 Employment. When students get an idea of the salaries tied to the careers, they really start to pay attention. Opportunities like this can be life-changing for teens, giving them visions of a future that they had not imagined prior to arriving at the event.

That potential for change motivates the MEC’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Webb-Vignery. She notes that a good percentage of students leave Key 2 Employment with more knowledge about both high tech careers and about going to college. She adds, “At the same time, they can ask about internships, about summer jobs where they can get more experience in a field they are interested in. There are a lot of positives that come out of this. I think it’s the only thing like this in the State of Arizona to this day.”

New to this year’s event are two workshops for students—one presented by David Rodriguez from the MEC’s Regional College Access Center, the other presented by the UA College of Engineering. Both workshops hold the promise of providing students with deeper knowledge about the college preparation and entrance process, along with the diverse learning opportunities awaiting them once they are college students.

Over the symposium’s 18-year history, the MEC has continued to make it more useful to the students who attend. Originally starting out as an event focused on jobs available to vocational education program graduates, it has become an event that showcases the high tech careers within reach of our students. The Key 2 Employment for the 21st Century Symposium will let teens know these options do exist, and it will show them the paths that lead to those careers.

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

How can Arizona students unlock the door to career success? One answer is Tucson’s Key 2 Employment Symposium, presented by the Metropolitan Education Commission, and an Arizona SciTech Festival Signature Event.

Although two-thirds of Arizona’s jobs require some form of higher education, less than half of Arizona’s students graduate on time and ready for college.  On Wednesday, February 11, students from four area high schools will visit the University of Arizona campus to attend workshops and meet representatives from fields ranging from health care and veterinary care, to law enforcement, armed forces, and manufacturers, to counter these statistics and prepare these students for the workforce of tomorrow. They will also have the chance to speak one-on-one with college instructors and Graduate students from the UA and Pima Community College to find out about the degree programs they offer, where the degrees lead in terms of careers, and most importantly, what students need to do right now to be ready to enter the programs after graduation.

After arriving at Old Main, students will tour the UA Mall with UA Student Life volunteers. For many of teens, this will be their first visit to campus, so it gives them a chance to soak in the feel of the campus and imagine themselves taking classes there one day.

The tour concludes at the UA Student Union, where 60 exhibitors will be ready to talk with students about study and career options. Students will participate in hands-on demonstrations and have time to talk with the instructors, Graduate students, and industry professionals.

High-tech careers are a big focus of Key 2 Employment. When students get an idea of the salaries tied to the careers, they really start to pay attention. Opportunities like this can be life-changing for teens, giving them visions of a future that they had not imagined prior to arriving at the event.

That potential for change motivates the MEC’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Webb-Vignery. She notes that a good percentage of students leave Key 2 Employment with more knowledge about both high tech careers and about going to college. She adds, “At the same time, they can ask about internships, about summer jobs where they can get more experience in a field they are interested in. There are a lot of positives that come out of this. I think it’s the only thing like this in the State of Arizona to this day.”

New to this year’s event are two workshops for students—one presented by David Rodriguez from the MEC’s Regional College Access Center, the other presented by the UA College of Engineering. Both workshops hold the promise of providing students with deeper knowledge about the college preparation and entrance process, along with the diverse learning opportunities awaiting them once they are college students.

Over the symposium’s 18-year history, the MEC has continued to make it more useful to the students who attend. Originally starting out as an event focused on jobs available to vocational education program graduates, it has become an event that showcases the high tech careers within reach of our students. The 2015 Key 2 Employment Symposium will let teens know these options do exist, and it will to show them the paths that lead to those careers.

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Guest Author: Ester Skiera, science writer, Arizona SciTech

Long before the Internet existed, the world might not have been considered as sophisticated as it is now, but it had its own charms. It even had its own technologies. But how can kids today have the chance to understand this?  Ancient Technology Day Prehistoric & Historic, is the answer!

“It is a family friendly event that provides visitors with an opportunity to have an interactive learning experience, where they get to try their hands at multiple kinds of prehistoric and historic technologies and skills that were every day tasks for pioneer settlers and Native American peoples such as the Hohokam,” says Renee Aguilar, Pueblo Grande Museum’s Visitor Services.

Rene also states that one of the biggest demographics of visitors at the Museum is elementary school children. “As a prehistoric archaeological site and museum, Pueblo Grande offers a unique insight and interpretation of Arizona history and the important contributions the Ancient Sonoran Desert People made to the growth and settlement of this area, and how we still benefit from their knowledge today,” she adds.

The event is now celebrating its 15th year as a Pueblo Grande Museum signature annual event. And every year, the Museum provides visitors unique activities and showcases.  “The most unique part of Ancient Technology Day is that it offers visitors an opportunity to try multiple kinds of technologies and skills that were an everyday practice from 100 years ago to over 1000 years ago,” she explains.

What’s not to love? Visitors are able to make their own pottery. If you are not so much into artistry, how about making an arrowhead? Or try roasted agave cooked in an underground oven called a Horno. Or maybe you’d like to test your hunting skills? Visitors can test their hunting skills by throwing a spear with an atl atl. Best thing yet? Visitors can try all of these things for free!!

“We expect visitors to have a fun and educational cultural experience while participating in all the different activities we have to offer at this event. We love to see everyone, adults, children, grandparents, and teenagers, get involved, learn new skills, and come away with a better understanding of just how innovative and creative people are throughout history when it comes to using or creating tools to get a job done,” Aguilar says.

It’s important for the children to know that the word ‘technology’ is not limited to computer-related matters. “We hope that people will think about technology in a broader sense rather than just computers, microchips, and robots. By participating in the Arizona SciTech Festival, we hope to broaden people’s definition and idea of what the term ‘technology’ encompasses,” she states.

In addition to all of the various demonstrations and interactive activities, there will also be fun, free, craft stations set up throughout the event and fry bread for sale. “We will also have free tours of the archaeological site, artifact interpretation inside the museum, and a special tour of the Park of Four Waters historic canals area with City Archaeologist Laurene Montero.”

15th Annual Ancient Technology Day Prehistoric & Historic takes place on March 14, 2015. Pueblo Grande Museum. Free admission.

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