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Festival showcased possibilities of STEM

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LeopardLife Mathias Alling, Staff Writer

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The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math first festival provided a time to showcase the possibilities of what can be done in STEM. The STEM festival, earlier this month on March 3 at Lovejoy High School delivered a variety of things from working a 3D printer to controlling a robot.

STEM teachers said the event was meant to show students how they can use technology with possibilities.

“Normally when we have a showcase, for example, the STEM festival, it’s to demonstrate what we have for everybody. In this district, this is the first STEM festival we have had, so it was showcasing stuff that kids can use now. It was also showing how to use robots, and how to 3D print. It’s showing the possibilities, the possibilities of the STEM festival,” GTT teacher, Frank Calderon, said.

Some people found booths they considered interesting at the STEM festival. One of these booths was a DNA experiment. The way it worked is the booth operators took newly dead cells from someone’s cheek, and then put those cells into a vial which would use a solution to extract the DNA from the cells.

“I really liked the science experiment we did where we pulled DNA out of our cheek and made it into a necklace. You would chew on the inside of your check for a minute then you spit inside of a tube, put it into a solution and you put that into a locket,” seventh-grader, Clay Diercks, said.

Since this convention had such a large turnout there was some crowding at the booths, so to solve this they had to use a traffic flow system in order to get everyone to every booth, some of the staff mentioned if they had an auditorium there would have been a more efficient flow of people from booth to booth.

“Normally we will have a good traffic flow (in the halls) because there were so many booths we had to have more people flow through,” Calderon said.

The students enjoyed the STEM festival, with many having fun visiting all the booths and seeing the many different technologies that were set up.

“I would say it was very successful, there were a lot of people there and interesting booths and it seemed everyone was having a great time. I know I did,” Diercks said.

There were many booths at the festival, some were independent developers, while others were from large companies like Oculus Rift, a virtual reality company known for its revolutionary VR headset.  

“There was a group that made an old motorcycle into a new one, someone who made his own drone, a tank you could drive,” Diercks said.

Some of the staff at the festival were surprised this year’s festival had such a great turnout.

“We were surprised that we had such a great turnout. We were happy that we were able to showcase what we have and let people see what we have, so they can get their hands on it,” Calderon said.

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Festival showcased possibilities of STEM