Sensational STEM: Students engage senses while exploring college, career opportunities

Two recent San Jacinto College events engaged current and future students in education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Students interacted with STEM experts while exploring the fields through hands-on activities.

STEAM Fair

Partnering with Pasadena ISD, the Central Campus hosted 170 intermediate and high school students and their family members for the daylong STEAM Fair April 8. The fair focused on the usual STEM fields as well as art.

Why pursue STEM at San Jac?
  • Savings: Free or reduced-cost textbooks through Open Books STEM classes
  • Funding: Department scholarships, internships, and LSAMP or N2B stipends
  • Connections: Research opportunities, student clubs, and community outreach programs
  • Environment: Modern science labs and low faculty-to-student ratio for increased engagement

Learn more: sanjac.edu/STEM

Pasadena ISD students kicked off the day with campus tours, including…

  • Early college high school
  • Science and health science buildings
  • Artificial intelligence and robotics labs

After an inside look at San Jac programs, students presented their art and team projects, answering questions from College faculty and other guests.

“STEAM curriculum helps develop critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork skills while stimulating creativity,” said Patricia Steinke, Central Campus biology professor and fair coordinator. “We introduced these students to our fine arts, science, technology, and early college programs in a fun format.”

Before the final awards ceremony, San Jac biology, geology, chemistry, and physics faculty offered hands-on demos in labs.

“The event was an amazing opportunity for our district to partner with San Jac to inspire students to continue to pursue a future education and career path in one of many STEM fields,” said Holly Yoes, Pasadena ISD curriculum instruction specialist, intermediate science. “Our students enjoyed not only touring the campus and engaging in the expo but also sharing their own learning experiences and project work with College professors and students, their fellow students and teachers, and community members.”

Pasadena ISD students came from Beverly Hills, Bondy, Jackson, Miller, Park View, Queens, San Jacinto, South Houston, and Southmore intermediate schools and Pasadena Memorial High School.

STEM Symposium

Robot
Exploring robotics at STEM Symposium

Also on April 8, the STEM Symposium at the South Campus offered panels, demonstrations, career information, building tours, and door prizes for San Jac students.

The event included keynote speaker Commissioner Julian Alvarez III of the Texas Workforce Commission, a Q&A panel, and hands-on activities, including…

  • Robotics
  • 3D printing
  • Mobius strips
  • Virtual reality bowling
  • Dissected specimens
  • Science experiments
  • Microscope slides showing fungi, bacteria, and pond water paramecium

Showing samples of living microscopic organisms, biology professor Maxine Lane explained that what is under the microscope is a natural part of life. She also advised against the “five-second rule” when dropping food on the floor.

“This is a chance to introduce students to the world of microbiology and spark an interest in pursuing careers in that field,” Lane said.

Dr. Jackeline Webb, South Campus math professor and department chair, coordinated the symposium, a first for the College.

“Commissioner Alvarez’s presentation was outstanding and relevant to STEM job opportunities,” Webb said. “Participants also got to attend several innovative and interesting STEM demonstrations.”

Dr. Connie Gomez, South Campus department chair for physical sciences and chemistry, coordinated with faculty and lab supervisors to create engaging demonstrations.

“Building tomorrow’s STEM professionals demands giving today’s students every opportunity to see amazing phenomena, ask questions, and share in the excitement of those already in STEM,” Gomez said. “Any success is based on being able to leverage passionate faculty, rely on well-coordinated ambassadors, and be supported by amazing staff.”
 

STEAM Fair 4-8-22