In order to provide more opportunities for students to participate in out-of-class science experiences, the Shelby County Gifted Education Department is again partnering with AMSTI Science Specialists and the University of Montevallo to provide an annual science and engineering festival for third, fourth, and fifth-grade students from schools across central Alabama.
Almost 400 students from 26 different schools will be participating in the second annual Science Festival on December 11 at the University of Montevallo.
The goal of the Science Festival is to encourage students to develop a passion for science and engineering, which in turn will spark interest in STEM occupations for these leaders of tomorrow. Students work in teams to showcase their ingenuity and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts to solve complex design problems.
“This event is unique because students use their problem solving and critical thinking skills to design and construct devices on-site for an egg drop, trebuchet, and draw bridge competition,” said Dr. Lusia MacPherson, Supervisor of Gifted Education and Advanced Programs. “They do not know ahead of time what materials they will be given. As they wait for their turn to compete, the students are given opportunities to engage in other science and engineering activities, like building a tower or other construction activities.”
For 2015, the Science Festival is featuring a medieval theme. Students were asked to use their talents and creativity to draw pictures depicting the historic development of modern technology and engineering in medieval times. By involving art, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts are supported. The winner of the art contest, Max Cecil from Mt Laurel Elementary, was announced in September. More information about Cecil’s winning artwork, and the work of the other top 10 finalists, is posted on the Science Festival website – http://www.umsciencefestival.com.