Preparations Being Made

Anastasia Hobbins is seen here working on a sign for her group’s demonstration, Elephant Toothpaste, to be presented during Science on Saturday event Jan. 26. Hobbins says, “I’m so excited to help host Science on Saturday this year because it is a super fun way to show kids STEM industries. Exposing them at a young age is key to breaking societal boundaries on what career path they should pursue. It opens their minds to all the possibilities, aiding in the success of the future of America.” Hobbins is a member of POWER SET, an organization that supports and encourages women in the areas of science, engineering and technology.

If you’ve ever marveled at how a mixture of cream, eggs, sugar and salt can be transformed into a cold tasty treat, then be sure to attend the Science on Saturday event at the El Campo High School Gym to learn how and why. This is just one of the many demonstrations being presented by local students, educators and others during Science on Saturday. The event, designed for kindergarten students to high school age seniors, also welcomes parents, educators and community members and is free.

“The purpose of Science on Saturday (SOS) is to invite anyone from the community to come and experience science,” El Campo High School Physics and Biotechnology teacher Sarah Eder said. “We want to spark a fascination and interest in science in kids and provide a fun safe place for families to explore.”

Sponsored by the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI), this event is held each year by a school in the surrounding area. Last year the event was held at Van Vleck High School and this year is being hosted by El Campo ISD POWER SET and WIT, along with Power GRID and BRT mentoring programs.

It will take place from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, Jan. 26, at the El Campo Ricebird High School Gym.

“It’s something that I’ve attended for multiple years now and I’m excited that it’s our turn to host it, and that I get to put it on with my friends. It’s such a great opportunity to show kids how fun and cool science is. I wish this event would have been available to use when we were younger,” POWER SET member Carly Oldag said.

“This event is science-based and is focused for younger kids to teach about science and have fun at the same time,” POWER SET member Megan Rek added.

For those who plan on attending, they should first check in at the Ricebird Gym foyer. Plenty of parking is available in the lot in front of the stadium. Once checked in, they can visit stations set up in the Gym, on the walkways, and in the cafeteria.

“Families and visitors can come and go as they please and visit whichever stations interest them the most,” Eder said.

POWER SET (Powerful Opportunities for Women Eager and Ready for Science, Engineering, and Technology) and WIT (Workforce Industry Training) are organizations sponsored by NPI.

“Throughout the year, we visit colleges and various industries to expose high school students to different career options in STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields,” Eder said.

Power GRID (Girls Responding to Industry Demands) and BRT (Boys Resourcing Technology) are mentoring programs for fourth and fifth grades at Northside Elementary.

“Our goal is to inspire their interest in STEM areas through a mentoring partnership with POWER SET and WIT members,” Eder said.

Science on Saturday is just one way to help promote interest in science among younger students.

“SOS will be allowing children from all ages to pick up new tasks by doing amazing science experiments,” WIT member Yvonne Rivera said. “It’s important for us, the adults, to encourage students to learn. They are the future leaders of tomorrow, why not start now to help them become the best they can possibly be by stimulating their minds to discover endless possibilities.”

Demonstrations are being presented by South Texas Project (STP) and Wharton County Junior College. Support is also being received from Ozarka, HEB, City Development Corporation and Wharton County Electric Coop.

“This event is going to showcase a lot of fun STEM experiments that students can do at their own homes,” Eder said. “SOS is a great way to get entire families involved and interested in science by being able to take fun experiments and do them at home also.”

“I think Science on Saturday is a great opportunity for our organization to help promote STEM to a younger audience,” POWER SET member Haley Burrow said. “By having a variety of different activities, students can see that science is actually fun. Our organization wants to encourage younger students, especially girls, to go into a STEM field one day when they get older, and I think that through activities like Science on Saturday we help get them excited for their future.”

There will be about 20 tables set up to visit and take part in different science activities.

“We have some stations where they get to do fun chemical reactions, a few stations where they make science-based crafts and a few stations where they get to play with fun hands on materials,” Eder said. “There will be a wide variety of science based activities to do and watch.”

El Campo High School POWER SET and WIT members will be doing demonstrations, too.

“We have a variety of demonstrations and activities planned by our POWER SET and WIT members,” Eder said. “Things such as watching a 3D printer in action, kinetic sand, oobleck, cloud in a cup and more.”

POWER SET member Madeline Rod and her group will be doing a DIY lava lamp demonstration using miniature water bottles.

“The kids will get to make it themselves and then take it home with them,” Rod said.

Viviana Bolfing, a POWER SET member, and her group are also presenting a science demonstration.

“My group and I are conducting a kinetic sand experiment where kids get a hands-on learning experience on how to make their own kinetic sand at home,” Bolfing said.

“I’m so excited to watch the younger kids learn more about science by all the entertaining experiments we have planned,” POWER SET member Cassidy Crowell, said.

Another ECHS group will be demonstrating how to make a ice cream.

“My group is making a five minute ice cream booth to show how science is not only fun, but also sometimes delicious, POWER SET member Kayla Bolfing said. “I think Science on Saturday is an interesting opportunity for children to see the workings of science.”

“I’m so excited to help host Science on Saturday this year because it is a super fun way to show kids STEM industries,” POWER SET member Anastasia Hobbins said. “Exposing them at a young age is key to breaking societal boundaries on what career path they should pursue. It opens their minds to all the possibilities, aiding in the success of the future of America.”

“SOS is an amazing opportunity for girls to get interested in the STEM field. As a member of POWER SET, I am super excited to help out with this event and hopefully spark some interest in science for these young girls,” added Manna Trevino, a POWER SET member.

Eder and Stephanie Lyford are sponsors of POWER SET and Matthew Sohrt is theWIT sponsor.

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