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STEMFest returns with a bang, slime and even an alpaca

Bottle rockets activity hosted by National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

The STEM Festival event returned to Georgia Southern University this year as STEMFest 2018. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center on the Statesboro Campus, community members filled the hallways and ballroom to experience hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education activities.

Free and open to the public, this event hosted over 800 area PreK-12 students, not including guardians, faculty, staff and volunteers in attendance.

The event was unable to be hosted last fall, but the College of Education’s Institute for Interdisciplinary STEM Education (i2STEMe) knew it was crucial to bring it back this year.

“As the largest regional institution south of the Atlanta area, it is a vital part of our mission to support the region through educational endeavors,” said Cynthia Bolton, Ph.D., associate dean for outreach, partnerships and diversity for the College of Education. “It is important to offer STEM education to our community so we can inspire and engage kids and their families that STEM can be fun, active and compelling. There is something for everyone in STEM from the sciences to the arts, criminal justice and history.”

Liquid nitrogen ice cream hosted by Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society

With over 50 interactive stations for students to learn and engage, activities included Alka-Seltzer pop rockets, electromagnetic trains, liquid nitrogen ice cream, kinetic sand, and slime time. This year’s event also featured live animals including alpacas as well as birds and reptiles from the University’s Center for Wildlife Education. Bolton says it takes “teamwork and commitment” to offer an event of this size and caliber at no cost to the public.

“STEMFest included volunteers and expert faculty, students and staff from all parts of Georgia Southern University,” she said. “We had over 300 volunteers assisting the organization team from i2STEMe. It also takes contributions from sponsors to help fund this event including supplies and lunches for the volunteers.”

Patrons of this year’s event can count on seeing STEMFest back again next year. i2STEMe plans to host the event again in September 2019. Follow i2STEMe on Facebook for the latest updates.

“STEMFest is just one amazing, fun-filled and family-oriented event that can immerse and educate students about STEM opportunities,” Bolton said.

Volunteers represented a multitude of University colleges, departments and organizations including: Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art; Department of Elementary and Special Education; Department of Middle Grades and Secondary Education; Department of Biology; Center for Applied Cyber Education; Department of Civil Engineering and Construction; Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design Program; Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Department of Geology and Geography; School of Human Ecology; Department of Mechanical Engineering; Department of Manufacturing Engineering; Georgia Southern University Museum; Nutrition and Food Science Association; James H. Oliver, Jr. Institute for Coastal Plain Science; National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers; Center for Sustainability; Department of Physics and Astronomy; Department of Psychology; Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society; University Housing; Sustainable Aquaponics Research Center; Sigma Xi, Georgia Southern Chapter; Society of Manufacturing Engineering; and Center for Wildlife Education and the Lamar Q. Ball, Jr. Raptor Center.

Feeding the alpacas


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