Thursday, April 12, 2012

More inspiration from Expo Day in San Diego!

You know those inspirational days that stick with you long after they're over?  That's how I feel about Expo Day in San Diego a few weeks ago!  I met so many wonderful educators doing such great work with students of all ages that I had to do one more post about them.

Here are some members of the Midnight Mechanics - the oldest FIRST Robotics team in San Diego!  These kids spoke passionately about robotics and teamwork, and gave me some insight into their creative process.  I was really impressed, not only with their level of technical sophistication, but also with their dedication to talking to the public about their experiences working together.  Go team 812!

The best part of going to a huge exhibition is meeting Coalition members and learning about what keeps them inspired.  The Science Bridge program at UCSD and the Birch Aquarium both take advantage of San Diego's proximity to the ocean in their programs.

The National Society of Black Engineers is also a Coalition member, and the folks at the San Diego Alumni Extension booth were happy to demonstrate eddy currents and talk about their upcoming Summer Engineering Experience for Kids - it's a free program!

I'm a huge fan of low-tech, hands on science exhibits, and these ones were my absolute favorite.  The San Diego Science Educators Association is a great resource for anyone in the San Diego area teaching science in or out of the classroom.  They brought super engaging exhibits of invisible forces - one using an AirZooka to blow out a candle, and the other was the homemade and terrifying Chair of Death demonstrating the conservation of momentum:

 I loved how they had bottles of water for the smaller kids and bricks for the bigger kids!

Finally, meeting this UCSD engineering student was the perfect ending to my day.  I mentioned before my love of low-tech exhibits; well, this table full of potatoes was so low-tech I had to ask for a demonstration.  I love the existential quandary he poses at the end!

Do you have a fun video of your after school science explorations?  Send us a link and tell us about it!

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