By: Cynthia Qi

As part of the fourth annual Orange County Science and Engineering Week, Math for Service hosted the STEAM Scavenger Hunt on Sunday, April 8, 2018. At promptly 12:30 PM, the Sage Hill Wilkins Town Square area was filled with young students, bustling around to different interactive activity booths manipulated by volunteers from different Math for Service organizations.

The students, ranging from elementary to middle school kids, were provided an instructional checklist, detailing the steps needed to win prizes. Each student was asked to complete four to five different science-related activities, ranging from “24 Tournament” to “Solar System Mobiles”, from “Aluminum Foil Boats” to “Cookie Butter Programming”, and from “Mural” to “Make Your Own Slime!”.

“[The event is] a fun way to teach science and logic”, says participant Nicholas Thompson, a sixth grader for De Portola Elementary School, delightfully, after successfully building an aluminum foil boat capable of holding 340 pennies in the water tank without sinking. When asked if she would encourage her child to participate again next year, Nicholas’s mother says, “absolutely”, her eyes fixed on her child’s smile.

The biggest reason Math for Service spends time and volunteer hours on events like the STEAM Scavenger Hunt is well-understood among event-goers, from parents to students and other volunteers.

“[STEAM Scavenger Hunt is] a great opportunity for the kids to become exposed to a variety of subjects,” OC Arts President and Northwood High School senior Michelle Kim explains. “I believe that having this exposure at such an early age is critical for helping them find what they want to do later on in the future and it allows them to have a lot of different opportunities to look at different subjects that they normally wouldn’t have at their age.”

For more information about the STEAM Scavenger Hunt and other events during the annual Orange County Science and Engineering Week, please visit ocseweek.wordpress.com.