People & Places: Marshmallow fling, planetarium, electric vehicles, all part of science festival

Embry-Riddle hosts science, math students April 21

Prescott Valley School sixth-grader Laureli Potter “drives” a blue car at the Arizona SciTech Fest at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on April 21, 2018. (Prescott Valley School/Courtesy)

Prescott Valley School sixth-grader Laureli Potter “drives” a blue car at the Arizona SciTech Fest at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on April 21, 2018. (Prescott Valley School/Courtesy)

Twelve students from the Prescott Valley School STEM Club (science, technology, engineering, math) attended the Arizona SciTech Fest at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University April 21. The students participated in a variety of educational and fun activities, including attending a planetarium show, checking out electric vehicles, and hurling marshmallows with a catapult.

Students launched its STEM Club for interested middle school students earlier this school year. Since then, PVS teachers and STEM Club advisors Lina Lett and Danielle Marson scheduled educational trips and fun projects for club members.

During the Arizona SciTech Fest, they watched the planetarium show, SpaceNext, and checked out electric vehicles.

“We were able to take a ride in an electrician’s truck,” Marson, who teaches middle school science, said. “The students also saw some experiments involving gas and fire, raced cars, flung marshmallows with a catapult, did experiments involving force with ingredients like Alka-Seltzer, gum, chocolate, and much more.”

The science-themed activities helped reinforce some of the topics the students previously had learned in STEM Club, she added.

“We have been talking about space and the history of space travel recently in my class, so the planetarium show at ERAU helped bring all that into perspective and show them where we believe the future of space travel is going,” Marson said.

Students also had learned about force, density and pressure, all topics touched on through the Fest’s experiments.

Lett, middle school math teacher, said the students had such a great time at the Arizona SciTech Fest, no one wanted to leave.

“They kept saying how cool and awesome everything was,” she said.

Sixth-grader Laureli Potter called the trip awesome. “I have loved science and technology forever. I can’t wait until next year,” she said.

Alondra Salinas, sixth-grader, said she found it to be a “breathtaking” experience.

“It was amazing to see different kinds of activities that were for STEM,” said Bailey Gonzales, also a sixth-grader. “There were many different kinds of engineering like different planes and rockets and even water-powered vehicles. We also went on this car that fixes lights, and we went super high.”