By Isabelle Lee
Math for Service hosted its STEAM Scavenger Hunt as part of the third annual Orange County Science and Engineering Week (OCSEW) on Sunday, April 23 at the Tustin Community Center.
The event aimed to showcase and expose curious, young minds to the fields of science and engineering. Occupying much of the day, it spanned through the morning and afternoon.
Parents and their children bustled around, either heading into closed-off rooms for academic competitions or exploring the main area, where many interactive booths were set up. The students, ranging from elementary to middle school kids, were encouraged to visit the booths and participate in the variety of activities by completing a scavenger hunt.
The instructions of the OCSEW STEAM Scavenger Hunt were handed out on a small half-sheet of paper, detailing the steps needed to collect a prize. In the Activity Bank, the names of all the activity booths were listed; it ranged from “Make Your Own Slime” to “Face Painting”, from “Pinhole Cameras” to “Aluminum Foil Boats”, and “Jello Earthquakes” to “Cookie Butter Programming”.
A series of seven clues were then provided - it said, “this is a math-related card game”, or “this relates coding with food”, or “use physics to see the world through a new lens - upside down!”.
Using these clues, students visited specific booths and earned check marks after completing the correct activity. After all seven check marks had been earned, the students could submit their paper, earn a prize, and then get started on Scavenger Hunt No. 2.
Students clambered from booth to booth, getting their hands sticky with neon colored slime at the “Make Your Own Slime” booth, making structures out of toothpicks and marshmallows to withstand a modeled force of earthquakes at the “Jello Earthquakes” booth, and seeing how many pennies that aluminum foil could hold before sinking in water at the “Aluminum Foil Boats” booth.
“My favorite part was winning awards and the face paint [booth]”, participant Fatimah Alvarez, pointing to the pink stars painted next to her left eye.
She hurried off to the Cookie Butter Programming booth, which demonstrated the specificity and clarity of writing computer programs by asking students to write specific instructions to make a peanut butter sandwich.
“The ‘Make Your Own Slime booth was my favorite because they show you how to make it step-by-step and at what sensitivity you want it,” participant Joseph Pham said.
Parents and students alike spent a day exploring and further immersing themselves within science, engineering and many other fields at the Orange County Science and Engineering Week.