Extravaganza will be STEAM bonanza

Event at UCC to offer fun-filled learning opportunities

Members of Douglas County Partners for Student Success and the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub have been brainstorming, collaborating and preparing to make this month’s STEAM Extravaganza at Umpqua Community College a smorgasbord of brain-tickling learning experiences.
This year’s STEAM Extravaganza is scheduled for May 19 on the college campus and will feature a variety of opportunities for students to stretch their minds through problem-solving, creative design and teamwork. The event serves as a way to showcase and celebrate all the hard work our partners are putting in to help Douglas County’s students receive effective and meaningful support to achieve economic and social success by graduating high school, completing post–secondary education and/or entering a career.
DCPSS wants to open doors to bright futures for the county’s youth, and this second annual event is sure to inspire students to think about the many options that exist for them in the STEAM world. DCPSS oversees the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub in efforts to prepare students for post-secondary education and careers that benefit from knowledge and skills in the STEAM disciplines.
“The STEAM Extravaganza will be a fun-filled day that we hope will get students thinking about science, technology, engineering and math in new ways. We will be encouraging critical thinking, exploration, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork.” said Gwen Soderberg-Chase, DCPSS director.

Youth participate in last year’s STEAM Extravaganza at UCC.

With the help of Umpqua Community College associate astronomy professor Paul Morgan, this year’s event is sure to be out of this world.
Morgan is creating a Solar System Walk, to scale, to coincide with the Extravaganza. Participants will have the chance to stamp “passports to the solar system” on May 19 by visiting each of the 10 planetary and solar stations and answering questions along the way. Those who gather all 10 stamps with the correct answers can win a prize. Schools are also being invited to view the Solar System Walk on May 17.
“I would hope everyone would get a chance to experience in a more visceral way the size of our solar system, from the sun to Neptune,” Morgan said.
Last year’s event at UCC, a DCPSS partner, drew more than 200 people and featured high-flying drones, Wildlife Safari animals, science experiments and much more.
Among the many exhibits and activities slated for this year’s event, there will be a First Lego League Junior Expo, a Bridge Building contest, an opportunity to build a pipe organ and a tinker space to deconstruct electronics. Representatives from various programs at UCC will also be engaging youth and families in hands-on activities and answering questions about courses of study.
Admission to the STEAM Extravaganza at UCC is free. The cafeteria will be open for lunch and other food options. For more information, visit www.dcpss.org.

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