Science Festival Done!

It’s finally finished. We hosted our first Science Festival at school. It didn’t go too bad. Didn’t have the crowd we expected but our students who attended had a blast. We held it on a Monday night from 5-8 pm. The night started out with our guest speaker Dr. Mary Jane Epps, who works at the Dunn Lab at NC State University. She did a great job and we are actually thinking about bringing her back to talk to our students after school one day.  Attendees had a couple of options; they could listen to Dr. Epps speak, visit the new  Robotics team“maker room” , visit our Science Olympiad team, participate in one of the STEM activities in a the science rooms, or star watch on the piazza.  I’m not sure I can do the night justice, but if you want to see how it went check out Rachelle Garbarine’s story on the front page of Gibbons  website

In my room everyone played the Mar’s Rover Game on Xbox 360. The kids had a blast and my students who were helping wanted me to bring it to class one day. Might be a good treat for them, we are in astronomy right now. Students also helped the younger children build air rockets. A distance competition was held and winners received prizes. I found this activity on a NASA education website.  We also had our students working with our new Lego kits. This was possible because of the NASA grant we received and also the Siemens grant I obtained over the summer. Students worked to build and complete the Green City Challenge. Side note we purchased the Space Challenge from Lego Education also, this works with the EV3’s. At our Robotics Regional Tournament set for January 25th, my students will be mentoring the younger visitors on the Green Challenge activity.  Another blog entry to come.

I will mention one highlight of the night, our Science Department Chair, Sr. Janet Schemmel SND, dropped different objects into liquid nitrogen, freezing them in an instant, then breaking them.  Thanks to Dan Porter for obtaining the liquid. Not only did she have a blast but also everyone who attended her demonstration.

Science Festival 2014_By_Lorenzo_Macaisa (35)       Science Festival 2014_By_Lorenzo_Macaisa (142)

The whole night would not have been possible without everyone in the department being on board. If you are going to do this, and I mentioned this in another entry, make sure you have people to help. It took a good deal of planning to do this, and with the help of others we got it done. I did get others in the school involved, great opportunity for collaboration, for instance our Marketing club helped create the flyers for the event and our Tech theater students helped with setup. One other thing make sure you have a budget, you will have expenses and don’t want to have to use your class budget. Applying for a grant might be a good idea, science festival + community, I think you could find funding immediately.

Even though we didn’t have the attendance we would have liked; it was a great success. Or so people are telling me. It also was a great start to establishing our relations with our community.  We are already talking about what we should do next year. Next department meeting should be interesting.  My goal when proposing the festival was to spur some interest in STEM and establish a future event for us to host.  And I think we did.

By the way this #3 of the #bc20 challenge. The first three I had included in one entry. But I’m going to change that. I think I might have been cheating a bit. Embarrassed smile


About rippie77

Science Teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School, Raleigh NC.

Posted on January 19, 2014, in Article, Cardinal Gibbons High School, NASA, NASA explorers school, School Events, STEM and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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