Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Home Run Science Challenge

UC San Diego Bioengineering is leading an exciting new festival-wide program this year at the upcoming San Diego Festival of Science and EngineeringEXPO DAY on March 24th at Petco Park.  

Below is great information on the Home Run Science Challenge from Carolyn Schutt. Carolyn is a Ph.D. Candidate in Bioengineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. She is the Bioengineering Graduate Society Outreach Chair as well as Lead Organizer of the Home Run Science Challenge. 

Please consider coming out to the Festival this Saturday, and spread the word.

“In collaboration with the Festival Director, Mary Jo Ball, and Dr. John Watson of Bioengineering, we’ve created the Home Run Science Challenge, which will challenge kids to ‘run the bases’ by learning key science concepts at special EXPO DAY exhibits. To complete the challenge activity and receive a prize, participants must visit five of our featured exhibits and verbally answer a question on the related science/engineering content of each one to get stamps on their worksheet.  This program is currently being promoted by the Festival to K-12 educators to be used as potential extra credit.

"We have over 50 UC San Diego students volunteering with this program, including undergrad and graduate students, mostly from the Bioengineering Department. The Home Run Science Challenge will feature the UCSD Department of Bioengineering’s exhibit, ‘Cell Adventures: Follow the Cues to a New You’, where visitors will be able to play interactive games that illustrate a cell’s maturation into a specific cell type as well as learn about cutting-edge research in the field of regenerative medicine.  It will also feature an exhibit from the UCSD Biomedical Engineering Society, “Engineering the Body”, where visitors will be able to isolate DNA from strawberries and play a game to complete a DNA strand.  The Challenge program additionally features exhibits from Life Technologies, the BIOCOM Institute, the UCSD Near Space Balloon, the UCSD Briggs Lab, and UCSD K-16 Programs/BioEASI. UCSD volunteers will be stationed at these partner exhibits to ask kids the science concept questions.

"Through this program, we aim to challenge kids to share what they’ve learned at the Festival and to ignite their excitement to explore STEM fields.  Also, through the accompanying website http://www.sdsciencefestival.com/k-12/home-run.html we include descriptions of the science concepts of each featured exhibit to encourage educators to incorporate related material into their classrooms. 
Through the website we are also encouraging K-12 educators to explore classroom partnership opportunities with UCSD Bioengineering to increase our connections with the K-12 community.  This could include having an engineering student give a special topic workshop or serving as a judge for a school science fair.

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