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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

First SBCC Science Discovery Day offers community experiments

Charlotte Knegt
Gus Larson holds up a sea urchin to show it to his mother, Kristen Larson, and Liam Killen, at the first annual Science Discovery Day, Saturday, March 15, in the Earth and Biological Sciences Building on City College’s East Campus. The event was organized by the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Transfer program to gain interest in science throughout the community.

Artificial snow, DNA necklaces and replica hands made out of foam were just some of the experiments that City College presented during the first annual Science Discovery Day.

City College’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Transfer Program sponsored the free event that occurred on Saturday, March 15. Students and staff from the STEM Program volunteered to monitor the different exhibits and experiments that were spread throughout East Campus.

“We just want to [expose] kids to science,” said Henry Valora, biochemistry major and member of the STEM Program. “They are the future of science.”

Four different departments showed off a mix of activities and experiments where guests could interact and get close to science.

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Visitors started their day outside the bookstore and used a map to locate the different science-filled activities. One activity labeled as an “Event Not to Miss” was the colloquium of three City College students that presented their research work in different fields.

The geology department had activities located on the bottom floor of the Earth and Biological Sciences Building with an exhibit filled with fossils, rocks and minerals.

The head of an Allosaurus dinosaur welcomed guests at the door and children could dig for crystals or brush off fossils such as trilobites at the kid’s station.

Nikki Arnush, geology major, was one of the STEM students that volunteered during Science Discovery Day. She monitored the display for the geology department and educated the visitors on the many minerals showed at the exhibit.

Arnush started out as zoology major, but changed her major after being exposed to geology.

“It took one class and a five day field trip for me to fall in love with geology,” Arnush said. “I’ve learned so much about the things we see on a daily basis.”

One crowd pleaser that drew a big audience was a chemistry experiment presented outside the Physical Science Building. Professor Dr. Raeanne Napoleon made the audience jump when she dropped a piece of sodium metal into water, which created an explosion heard across campus.

At the engineering department’s station, attendees could try the egg drop experiment. The mission was to build a protective shield as well as a parachute for an egg before dropping it off the second floor and see it hit the ground without cracking.

Four hours later, community members left City College from a day filled of scientific experiments and exhibitions.

Jan Schultz, earth science professor, said that the event was a success and that she was pleased with all the people that came and explored the first annual Science Discovery Day.

“The whole theme is that science can be fun,” Schultz said. “It was really exciting to see younger kids getting excited about science.”

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