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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Science Discovery Day attracts hundreds of visitors

Astronomy professor Sean Kelly re-creates a comet at the “Science Discovery Day” on Saturday, March 8, 2019, on East Campus at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Over 1,000 parents and children had the opportunity to eat nitrogen ice cream, see a human brain, touch a dinosaur bone and learn how a comet is born Saturday at the fifth annual Science Discovery Day on City College’s East Campus.

Science Discovery Day, hosted by the STEM transfer program, is an annual event that invites families to come and experience science and experiments done by professors, students, and volunteers at City College.

Instructors from the biology, physics, mathematics, computer science, earth science, and chemistry department occupied different areas on East Campus to spread awareness and inspiration about science to kids all ages.

”We want to show kids the fun part [of math], not just the academic,” said math professor Jeff Gray.

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Gray said his favorite part about the event is “getting kids hooked on science and math, and see people having fun.” The math station he occupied outside of the Cafeteria was filled with games, origami figures, and clever math problems.

Adolfo Corral, coordinator of the event and STEM program, said the event is important for both kids and students participating.

“To see the young kids interact and engaging in science with the students is my favorite part each year,” Corral said. “We have about 100 students volunteering all over campus today. Faculty help with the planning, but the students do all the work.”

The STEM transfer program focuses on low-income students and Hispanics transferring to a four-year institution in one of the STEM subjects.

One popular experiment at the event was creating liquid nitrogen vanilla ice cream. The Society of Black Scientist and Engineers entertained hundreds of kids with it.

Tarak Ezal, 11, was a second time visitor at the event who said he loved making and eating the ice cream.

“It’s a lot of science and engineering here, which is fun,” Tarak said, who wants to be an engineer growing up.

Thomas Tabay, an engineer major and co-president of the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers, said it’s important to be part of this event and talk to the children because “not many black people work in science, and we want to show that we are present.”

Biology major Kelly Urrutia, who’s station demonstrated how to make slime by mixing glue, water, food color, and borax solution, said she was grateful to be able to share her passion for science with the kids.

“I feel like it is important to show kids that science can be exciting,” Urrutia said.

On the first floor of the Earth and Biological Science Building, minerals and fossils older than humankind could be explored with microscopes at the geology department.

“We want to get people excited about geology, as we live on earth we should know all about it,” said geology lover and volunteer Betsy Weiss.

The event seemed to positively impact the children who attended. Eight-year-old Nya Cable said, for example, she is visiting the Science Discovery Day for the third year in a row.

“It’s really fun, I really like to learn about things I don’t know about,” Cable said.

For STEM majors interested in joining its City College program, application instructions can be found here.

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