STEAM Series for Middle Schoolers Returns to Washtenaw Community College in August


ANN ARBOR – The annual Super STEAM Saturdays series at Washtenaw Community College kicks off Aug. 13 for area middle schoolers.

The free events are hosted by WCC faculty members and are designed to introduce students to careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

The workshops offer fun and interactive learning activities, and interested primary and secondary students are also encouraged to register. The events will take place both online and in person on the WCC campus.

See the full 2022-2023 lineup, according to a WCC release:

August 13: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Color our universe, Tiffany Fields

The universe is full of color, wonder and incredible things. Telescopes on the ground and in space help us see what lies beyond our planet so we can learn more about the galaxy and the universe around us. However, the beautiful colorful images we see are usually not made the way our cell phone might take an image. They usually start with black and white images. With a little science and art combined, we can begin to see the color of our universe. Through an online presentation and virtual activity, students will learn a little more about light, the electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes, and creating images on their own!

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September 24: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Optical illusions: do you see what the “eye” sees?, Paola Vega-Torres

Have you ever wondered how optical illusions work? In this fun and interactive session, we’ll dive deep into optical illusions. We will examine different types of illusions and discover how the brain works.

October 1: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Fido and the Gray Wolf: Genetics and Conservation Genetics, Emily Thompson

Learn about the genetics of your dog and its close cousin, the gray wolf. Watch a demo experiment simulating genetic studies that you can do later at home. Find out why gray wolves are endangered in Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park. Find out how applications of genetic studies can save the gray wolf and other endangered species.

November 5: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Why Scientists MUST be Artists: A Look at the Disciplines of Creativity, Art and Altruism for STEM Innovation, Michael Naylor

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This session offers a look at the qualities and mindsets of artists and promotes innovation and risk taking, thinking outside the box and problem solving, all cornerstones of STEM innovation. What we learn from taking a closer look at successful artists and geniuses in STEM fields is that they all thrive on innovative art.

December 3: In person (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Cool Chemistry, Tracy and Eric Schwab

Led by WCC chemistry professors, students will build molecular models of everyday chemicals, gain experience using various chemicals and equipment, and also solve several mysteries and crimes such as counterfeiting coins .

January 28: In person (10 a.m.-noon)

Dinosaurs!, David Wooten

Did you know that there were over 1,000 different species of dinosaurs? Join a WCC biology teacher for a unique opportunity to observe, touch, measure and learn about dinosaur features from life-size 3D printed models! Attendees will learn paleontology, how to measure skull, teeth and bones for research, and discover how scientists use anatomical features to unravel the mysteries of dinosaur ecology and evolution.

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February 4: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Scientific poetry, Tom Zimmerman, Maryam Barrie and Ernesto Querijero

Students will learn poems written about science and all its complexity and beauty. Poetry is a powerful way to engage your intellect with imagination. Prepare to be surprised.

March 18: TBD (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

Climate change: science, scenarios and solutions, Smita Malpani

A fun, interactive and informative session focused on the science of climate change.

April 1: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Having fun with probabilities, Nicole Klemmer

Students will explore fun and practical applications of probability and statistics, study classic probability problems, play games, and find ways to relate probability and statistics to everyday life.

May 13: Virtual (1 p.m.-2 p.m.)

Persuasion from “no” to “yes”: the pitch technique, Claire Sparklin

You have great ideas, but have you ever struggled to convince others that your idea is great? Have you ever worked in a group and failed to get them to use your solution? Or tried unsuccessfully to influence your teacher to extend a due date? You need a quick and persuasive approach that you’ll remember when you need it to get your point across. You need the pitch technique! In STEAM fields, it is important to know the value of your idea and communicate it to stakeholders. Come to this active and hands-on session to practice the pitch technique and start hearing a lot less “no” and more “yes”!

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June and July dates have yet to be announced, but one will feature WCC alumnus Aisha Bowe, an engineer and rocket scientist who worked for NASA and founder of LINGO coding kits. for students.

For more information and to register, Click here.

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