EAPrep 2012 Summer STEM Fair A Huge Success
On Wednesday, July 11th, East Austin College Prep’s 2012 Summer STEM Institute held an afternoon open house for students, parents, and community members. The STEM Fair featured a Mad Science Lab, architecture demos, and Amy’s ice creams.
Taking a walk through the fair’s activities, it was clear that students and parents were engaged on all fronts. The Mad Science lab featured a lively young “trained Mad Scientist,” who demonstrated the properties of electrical conduction and insulation with fluorescent and neon light bulbs. She also incorporated a Van de Graaff generator, which had students’ hair standing on end with the static electricity it produced.
In another room, students were busy at work constructing houses from Popsicle sticks. Hands and minds occupied, the burgeoning architects paid no notice to students at another table who were building their own “Edible Decomposer” parfaits out of pudding, cookie crumbles, raisins, and a well-buried gummy worm. After consuming their deliciously educational snack, the kids wandered to a table featuring the essentials of dental hygiene: brightly-colored toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, and the ever-entertaining tinted mouthwash that stains one’s teeth blue with just a mouthful and a swish.
Across the courtyard and into one of EAPrep’s portables, one could find a skittish guinea pig (formally known as “Mr. Pig”) scampering around to the cooing of childish delight at the soft, furry creature. Students crowded around the guinea pig’s makeshift pen and crouched down for the chance to pet, hold, and feed the little fellow. Mr. Pig, at peace while the students were rotating stations, munched quietly on his afternoon meal.
On the other side of the hall, students teamed up with their teachers to edit green screen photos of themselves. With Adobe Photoshop projected onto a large screen, the energetic kids barked out ideas to their instructors who were manning the computers and making the suggested edits. One group of boisterous boys ended up with a photo of themselves against a Call of Duty backdrop, their heads and bodies swapped at random – a great choice for any upcoming holiday cards they might want to send out.
Amidst the student excitement and parent curiosity, the STEM staff took charge, steering the students in the right direction with the occasional instructional blip from fellow staff on their walkie-talkies. The showcase had stupendous turn-out despite the foreboding gray skies and sprinkling of rain, with 48 family/community attendees in addition to the 58 STEM students. A big thanks goes out to all who helped organize and run the STEM Fair, as well as all the participants!