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Arizona SciTech Blog

This blog is courtesy of the Arizona SciTech Festival.

Guest Author:  Anna Poulos, National Geographic Learning/Centage Learning

Have you ever found yourself absorbed in the chapters of a suspenseful crime  novel, or indulging in late-night episodes of CSI? You’re not alone. Crime lab TV dramas have fostered growing public interest in the art and science of criminal investigation. Just what is it that keeps us so fascinated? For some, it’s the systematic application of a good investigator’s keen observations, while others are captivated by the painstaking techniques scientists use to gather and examine evidence. Whether it’s on the big screen or in real life, successful investigations rely on forensic science to solve cases. So what exactly is the science of forensics? Join us at Mesa Public School’s SciTech Expo “Full Steam Ahead” event to find out! As a member of National Geographic’s Arizona team, I will be on hand February 21st from 10am – 2pm to explore forensic science with students, teachers, parents and anyone just a little curious about crime scene investigation! Step into the lab and help me crack a case by participating in some exciting hands-on activities, or simply explore the dynamic display which will include captivating images, glimpses into actual crime and lab scenes, intriguing facts, and actual case studies. Learn about the handling, collection and examination of trace evidence, such as DNA, soil, fingerprints, and even bones and blood! How keen are your powers of observation? Participate in our profiling activity to find out! It’s sure to be a challenge for all ages. Teachers are encouraged to review National Geographic’s Forensic Science materials; I’ll have textbooks on hand, with a few sample copies to give away to interested teachers. Written by renowned author Anthony Bertino, Forensic Science: Fundamentals and Investigations provides chapter-by-chapter descriptions of specific types of evidence and the techniques used to examine it. Aren’t you just a little curious? Don’t let the suspense kill you! Join me at Mesa Public School’s Full STEAM Ahead event to crack the case and learn more about forensic science!


1Mount Graham Regional Medical Center              2AZSciTech Gila Valley Festival

Contact: Ryan Rapier, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center

Gila Valley Festival Activities to Showcase Medical Science Careers 

Safford, AZ, February 2, 2015

What is phlebotomy, you ask? The Gila Valley Health, Safety & Science Festival will offer free blood draws (phlebotomy) to the public Friday and Saturday morning from 7:00 a.m. to noon. Individuals will receive a lab report with information about their diabetes risk, prostate cancer risk, their overall cholesterol count, as well as HDL (high density lipoprotein) and LDL (Low density lipoprotein) numbers.  Which one is good cholesterol and which one is bad cholesterol?  Come to the Festival and find out!  This first annual Festival – which is an expansion of the Gila Valley Health Fair, a Valley tradition for over 40 years — is showcasing safety, health, science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and associated careers in each field. Not only will there be free services, activities and screenings, but the public will learn about careers in local high-tech jobs and how to pursue careers in the fastest growing job markets in the state and nation – those in science and technology.  The Festival activities will explain many fields with “funny” names, like phlebotomy, how they can be fun as well as work, and how to pursue science careers.

“Phlebotomy is a key field for helping to diagnose illness and provide key information to doctors making decisions in treatment of disease,” says Ryan Rapier, director of marketing and development at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center.  “Phlebotomists complete a state certification program and work in labs, hospital, doctors’ offices, research centers and at insurance companies.  Festival attendees will not only have the opportunity for a free blood screening, but they can try their own hand at drawing blood from a manikin at the Blood and Bones activity. Explore whether a phlebotomy career may be in your future.”  Find more opportunities to explore – like The Amazing Body activity – which lets Festival-goers find out why some people don’t like broccoli and why you can’t taste your food if you have a stuffy nose. Visit the “Fighting Pathogens and Sickness” activity to explore how illness spreads and what to do to prevent it.

There is no fee to the public to attend or participate in activities. Festival goers can become eligible for science related prizes to be given by drawing.  Food and beverages from local vendors will be available for purchase. The Festival takes place February 26-28 at Eastern Arizona College’s North Campus and Discovery Park Campus. More information about Festival activities, sponsors, maps and schedules can be found at www.eac.edu/SciTechFestival.

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math held annually in February and March. Spearheaded by the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Science Center, the Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Board of Regents, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University, the Arizona SciTech Festival is a grass roots collaboration of organizations in industry, academia, arts, civic, community and K-12. If you would like more information about the Festival visit www.azscitech.com.

Contact: Ryan Rapier
Telephone: Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center
Email: ryan.rapier@mtgraham.org
Website: www.eac.edu/SciTechFestival

2015 Gila Valley Sci Tech Festival Sponsors

1Gila Sponsors

1Google Spark Apps

Guest Author: Jennifer Alvarez, Digital Media and Marketing Officer, Town of Gilbert, AZ 

Gilbert, Ariz. - Gilbert will soon have a new mobile app thanks to local high school students and a partnership with Google.  The Students Participate in App Resources and Knowledge (SPARK) App League kicked off its third year of innovative app building on January 30th.

This year, the students will have help from Google, the newest sponsor in the competition.  SPARK App League is hosted by Gilbert, Arizona in partnership with Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. 

At the launch, students learned about creating mobile apps and were given access to a wealth of public information from Gilbert.  Students will use that information to design a new tourism app over the next two months.  They will have help along the way from ASU mentors. 

Google software developer, Jessie Chavez, came from Chicago to speak to students at the launch event. 

“It’s amazing to see what Gilbert is offering, making data useful for it’s citizens,” said Chavez. “I think that’s the kind of mission that Google has; we take information and make it useful.” 

The winning designs will be incorporated into Gilbert’s newest app for the public to download.  A panel of judges will determine the winning application before an event this May. 

Students can still register to participate in this year’s competition until February 14th. For more information about the SPARK App League or to register, visit www.sparkappleague.com.

1Pima County Community Services

Guest Author: Jim Mize, Pima County 

Jan 28, 2015

High school students will get an up close look Feb. 5 at area manufacturers who produce parts for everything from appliances and airplanes to engines and data systems, thanks to tours organized by the Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners (SAMP) and the Pima County One-Stop Career Center.

For the third year student interest has grown. This year more than 200 students from Desert View High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District will tour 16 manufacturers as well as Pima Community College’s machine shop, and behind- the- scenes areas at the UA Tech Park. The effort is meant to introduce students to STEM careers and occupations within the manufacturing industry.

The goal is that students who take part in the tours will enroll in STEM career pathways including machining courses at their high school. The SAMP program gives them the chance to take part in a 18-month program that couples coursework at Pima Community College with paid internships at local machine shops.

SAMP is a consortium that comprises 32 Southern Arizona manufacturing companies throughout Pima County. The group came together in 2012 with a goal to establish a pipeline of students ready to enter the field and started by revamping the training at Pima Community College. Students finish the program with a Machine Tool Certification from Pima Community College.

1OneStopSome of the machine shops students will be touring Feb. 5 are American Turbo Systems, CAID Industries, Industrial Tool Die & Engineering and Laron Inc. For more information about One-Stop services, please visit the One-Stop website at www.pimaworks.com. Visit Southern Arizona Manufacturing Partners at www.sazmp.com.


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!

2AZSciTech Gila Valley Festival

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.

2Arizona Museum of Natural History

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.

2Falcon Logo

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

2Falcon Logo

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

2ASU Poly photo (3)

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.