If you walked through the marketplace in Monticello’s town square, you’d find more than just the usual fresh produce. Set up in its own quadrant was a group eager to enlighten the community. On July 8, the Science Education Center hosted a STEMing into the Community event in Monticello, Georgia.
STEMing into the Community is a series that raises awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Though it once only served the Baldwin community, the program has expanded and now travels all over the state and into parts of Florida.
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Science Education Center Director Dr. Catrena Lisse and her team of students, alumni and educators worked with all age groups on interactive activities. These activities covered topics like chemistry, biology and physics.
“I want them to take away that science is fun. A lot of kids think science is for nerds or it’s not entertaining, but science is fun,” said Samoya Pentecost, a senior chemistry major.
That message was clearly conveyed as the day went on. Whether it was the moon fragments at the astronomy station or the slime at the chemistry station, each booth was sure to grab a passerby’s attention.
Lisse and two students conducted a magic show, part of the STEMing into the Community routine. The 30-minute show consisted of several science demonstrations. Some acts allowed children to participate, such as the disappearing Styrofoam cup and the exploding pop-rockets. Others, however, required Dr. Lisse and her trained team to perform the demonstrations. That didn’t stop the growing crowd from watching in amazement as a fountain burst with elephant toothpaste and a cup of chemicals rapidly changed colors through a time-clock reaction.
Also set up at an informational booth was Savannah Fritz. Fritz was the recipient of the $500 Public Community Innovation Award. She exhibited her project on influenza in canines and, throughout the day, gave away flu vaccine vouchers for canines funded by a portion of the award.
The Science Education Center will host several other STEMing into the Community events in the future.