Imagine getting to launch a life-size catapult, creating jewelry with one’s name spelled in binary code or touching an authentic dinosaur bone.
Why imagine it, when one can actually do these things when one attends the Mineral County Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Festival, to be held from noon until 4 p.m. March 26 on the campus of West Virginia University Potomac State College in Keyser. This free event is open to students, K-12, their families and to members of the community.
Potomac State faculty and students will make the following thought-provoking presentations and offer hands-on presentations during the event:
Hands-On Anatomy and Physiology – Has a person ever wondered what the inside of one’s body looks like or how the various organs work? Sheryl Chisholm, Ph.D., biology professor, along with some of her students from the Anatomy and Physiology I class, will answer these questions with an interactive approach.
Exploring Cells – Erin Cunningham, biology professor, and students from the Life Science Club, will lead attendees through the process of making their own animal or plant cells while learning about the structure of the cells through the eye of a microscope. Attendees will also get to examine their handwashing techniques using glow-germ lotion.
PSC Paleo Palooza – Attendees will get the chance to handle real dinosaur bones, as well as other fossils and replicas. Nicholas Gardner, PSC library director, and Nathan Van Vranken, geology professor, will take attendees back through time. Special guests also include JP Hodnett and Max Bovis, paleontologists, from Dinosaur Park, Laurel, Maryland.
Make One’s Own Binary Jewelry – Mary Moore, computer information science professor, will help participants create a piece of jewelry with their name spelled in binary code. Different colored beads will represent 1s, 0s, and delimiters to represent the ASCII code for the letters of the participant’s name.
Fun Engineering Projects — Members of the college’s engineering club will assist attendees with driving a gas-powered go-kart, launching potatoes across the quad with a launcher, calculating how far a life-size catapult can throw a tennis ball, along with other electric and magnetic projects. The club is under the advisement of Mohammed Saifi, engineering and computer science professor.
The mission of the STEM Festival is to re-invigorate the interest of area youth in STEM activities and careers by producing and presenting compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science gatherings.
The Mineral County STEM Network’s purpose is to increase communication among individuals, business/industry and organizations interested in encouraging area youth to consider the different STEM fields for careers.
For more information on the Mineral County STEM Network visit http://mineralstem.com/ and for regular updates on the STEM Festival “Like” the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MineralCountySTEM.