By Sasha Kvitsinski
On Sept. 9, STEAM for All held its annual STEAM in the Park event from 2-4PM at Bill Barber Park in Irvine. In order to create the event, all nine organizations under STEAM for All (OC Arts, OC Coder, OC Engineer, OC Hacker, OC Launch, OC Scholar, OC Science, OCMC and All Girls Math Tournament) host a variety of activities for students to participate in, ranging from grades 3-8.
“The main purpose of holding our annual STEAM in the Park is essentially to spark the interest within the young population throughout Orange County and inspire them in STEAM education,” said VP of Communications and STEAM in the Park Lead Organizer Cynthia Qi.
There were a total of 31 events held at STEAM in the Park, including Origami, 24 (Card Game), Rubik’s Cube, Chess Programming, Water Xylophone, and Salt Painting. Each one focuses on an idea within one of the STEAM fields; each activity meant to be a fun way to teach students.
“One of my favorite activities is Number Cruncher, where the students can run around to find answers to math problems, which I think combines an exciting active aspect with math games. It’s a fun way to get kids interested in math and competition style problems,” said All Girls Math president Natalie Yee.
With activities geared towards a younger audience, a lot of kids had a great time exploring different ideas in science, engineering, and other STEAM fields.
“The Rubik’s Cube activity was my favorite because I got to try and do it and I was able to learn some steps to finish the cube. I also liked using glue and salt to create a cool painting,” said third grade participant Karina Jadhav.
In general, the event went very smoothly, seeing a steady stream of people coming in and out of the park, spending time enjoying STEAM with their families.
The event is often also a favorite of volunteers, as it is one of the couple events were all of STEAM for All comes together as one.
I really like meeting everyone I’m going to work with this year as well as get to know the kids, many of which I have already worked with. The live music is also really great, it's exciting to see so many talented high school students interested in performing at our event,” said volunteer Grace Sauers.
In addition to last year’s event, the live music featured ukulele, clarinet, and performances from an entire band, garnering positive remarks. Also, a revised check-in process allowed for a faster check-in process.
“I think the event went well. It is truly inspiring to see all the smiles on our participants' faces and hear all the laughters and conversations going on throughout the park. Throughout the school year, STEAM for All will be hosting weekly STEAM fun nights that include similar activities from STEAM in the Park but on a smaller scale such that participants can engage in the activities more with the volunteers,” said Qi.