San Jacinto College and Mind Trekkers to host two-day STEM festival
02.13.2015 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao
Approximately 6,500 six-graders and families expected to attend
PASADENA, Texas – Mind Trekkers from Michigan Technological University will bring more than 100 of the nation's most interactive science experiments to San Jacinto College on March 12 and 13 during Dow Chemical Adventures in STEM.
Approximately 6,500 sixth-graders from six independent school districts will make their way to the San Jacinto College Central Campus during both days to watch how science is applied toward such experiments as walking on water, making ice cream in 60 seconds, DNA extraction, fire tornadoes, and skewering balloons. Families from across Houston are invited to the campus from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 12 for Family Night. This free event will give children of all ages the chance to perform the many experiments brought by Mind Trekkers.
"We produce an environment that is different than what students are used to in their classrooms," said Cody Kangas, Mind Trekker director and co-founder. "When students walk into a Mind Trekkers event, they see people running around having fun, with music and hands-on discovery-based learning. This is science in action."
Kangas added that another benefit of the STEM festival is that K-12 students learn from college students, those who are about to embark on their own careers in STEM. "They get to see science as cool with college students having fun and professionals making money doing these experiments," said Kangas.
Dow Chemical has been a long-time partner with Mind Trekkers. With Houston's robust energy industry, Kangas said it was a natural choice for a Mind Trekkers festival. "It was a match that made a lot of sense," he said. "We're excited because we think Houston is prime for this."
The San Jacinto College STEM Council will assist with coordination of experiments. San Jacinto College has increased the amount of activities and initiatives in recent years to attract more students to STEM fields. Mind Trekkers will allow San Jacinto College students to serve as volunteers and engage in outreach education to inspire K-12 students.
"San Jacinto College is proud to work with Dow and the Mind Trekkers of Michigan Tech to bring this event to Houston," said Dr. Allatia Harris, San Jacinto College Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives, Workforce Development, Community Relations, and Diversity. "We are preparing the scientists, engineers and technicians of tomorrow. Engaging young people with STEM in a meaningful way is key to developing the talent this region needs to maintain our position in the world economy. Besides, these activities are really fun, and as Mind Trekkers say, 'Come out and get your geek on.’"
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.