Kids learn science via cyberspace

For the second year in a row, local elementary and intermediate students learned hands-on science through cyberspace.

San Jacinto College and Communities In Schools of Southeast Harris and Brazoria County partnered once again for a virtual STEM expo via Zoom Feb. 17. Focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, the 45-minute expo included pre-recorded presentations by San Jac students, two CIS-ACE campuses, and NASA.

STEM Expo
Luminol experiment

About 400 CIS-ACE Program students and parents logged on from Alvin, Columbia-Brazoria, Galena Park, La Porte, Pasadena, and Pearland independent school districts.

In their videos, San Jac faculty and students showed how to make shrink dinks, create decorations with crystal borax, and combine luminol and bleach for liquid light. Expo participants also virtually toured the South Campus observatory deck, watched a professor open her beehives, and tasted the sweet side of science with 10-minute ice cream, rock candy, and solar oven s’mores.

San Jac video creators included Dr. Phuong Doan’s honors chemistry students, vocational nursing professor James Chiles and students, and geology professors Dr. Liana Boop and Heather Dalton.

CIS students and staff and NASA also shared videos, showing how to make elephant toothpaste, how to crush a can, and how astronauts use their five senses in space.

Although the expo will eventually return to face-to-face, the online format kept kids engaged.

“This was the best virtual event so far,” said Cheryl Sellers, director of community relations for CIS of Southeast Harris and Brazoria County. “I loved how students facilitated the experiments from the San Jac and Communities In Schools side. San Jac once again did a phenomenal job creating opportunities for children and their families to be exposed to STEM.”

San Jac’s natural sciences and other departments created 300 supply kits with promotional College items for students who registered for the event. NASA, another big partner, donated the bags, calendars, and posters.

Learn more about San Jac's STEM programs.