Hello STEM learners!
I am so excited to share with you an incredible STEM event that took place in my town: we had our inaugural town children’s Science Night. While the event was not affiliated with STEMFuture, I volunteered there and I thought that the event was perfect to showcase on this organization’s platform.
Some basic information about it:
The goal of this night was to introduce the wonder and power of science to younger students. The Science Night took place in my high school and the target audience was students in kindergarten through fifth grade. It was 2 hours long, and there were around 100 students who attended!
There were around 10 different activity events, each exploring a different area of science ranging from making hovercrafts to potting plants to CSI! A group of passionate students volunteered to run all of the events.
More about my event/experience:
I, along with three wonderful group members, ran the Bubble Challenge, an event whose goal was to help students understand the scientific concepts behind bubbles. It took several meetings and several hours to plan this event. Some of the work that we did included meeting up often, trying multiple times to find good ratios for the bubble solution, creating informational handouts, practicing our science lesson, and setting everything up the night of. Our hard work was completely worth it – for the kids had a great time (some of them even said that Bubble Challenge was their favorite 🙂 ).
Our station had 4 different parts: an introduction/demonstration of a very important scientific concept, an area where children could create their own bubble solutions, an area to test the solutions by blowing bubbles, and an area to test fluid resistance.
As soon as the students entered, they were greeted with an introduction as well as with a demonstration of surface tension using some water and a penny. The students were each asked how many drops of water they thought would fit on the penny’s surface. Most of guesses were in the 3-10 range; the actual amount ended up being over 20. It was amazing watching the surprise on their faces that came with each consecutive drop that exceeded their guesses. We explained that the scientific phenomenon that made this happen is known as surface tension; they really understood the concept because it is now associated with a physical demonstration that they saw.
Afterwards, my group and I explained some other scientific phenomena that were relevant to this station, such as adhesion, cohesion, polarity, hydrophilic and hydrophobic molecules, lipids, viscosity, and what is actually happening when a bubble pops. We then moved onto having the students create their own bubble solutions with water, soap, and glycerin (for longer lasting bubbles).
Next came the fun part: the students moved onto actually trying out their solutions. We helped the students make their own bubble wands, and many of their solutions worked! Now the “challenge” aspect of our Bubble Challenge event lay in actually getting the bubbles to bounce as well seeing who could blow the biggest bubbles. The students were also able to blow bubbles within bubbles on a wet surface, and they were so enthusiastic when they got it to work, proudly showing their friends and parents the manifestations of the new science concepts that they had just mastered.
Lastly, they moved onto learning about fluid resistance by doing a hands on activity. The students were presented two trays: an empty one and one with bubble solution. They were also given toy race cars and asked which tray they taught the cars would move faster through. We mostly got mixed responses, but after racing the cars through both trays themselves, they were able to come to the correct conclusion themselves: because of fluid resistance, the cars moved slower in the tray with bubble solution.
To conclude, we had a review session to help reinforce all of the new concepts the students had just learned; it was so amazing seeing the students being able to explain the concepts so perfectly. When my group and I asked them how they were able to remember all of the information, they told us that the major hands on aspect of our event helped them learn the concepts really well. They also expressed how much they enjoyed doing this. My group’s day = made.
Events like these just reiterate why learning STEM is so powerful, crucial, and inspiring. The students and parents who attended had nothing but good things to say. I could even see the excitement in them as they explored these scientific fields. Also, if the students at just my station were able to effectively learn so many new science concepts in one night because of the interesting way in which they were presented, it just goes to show how STEM needs to be presented in a creative way to students so they can fully gain value from it. I left feeling inspired and energized, for the entire night was an embodiment of STEMFuture’s mission. This night was a step in the right direction of having an innovative, safe, diverse, and impactful future of STEM.
Here’s to my town’s inaugural Science Night.
Check out more pictures here: