BIOTECH STUDENTS HOST INTERACTIVE BOOTH AT OC STEAM FEST
On Saturday, April 28th, 2018, Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) hosted the OC STEAM Fest at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine. This was a fun-filled day for over three thousand students and families to explore exciting, hands-on activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Corporate, community, and educational partners participated to spark student interest in STEAM-related fields and careers.
Fullerton College, Irvine Valley College, Santiago Canyon College, and Santa Ana College participated by sending student volunteers from the OC Biotech Outreach Program to reach out to students, potential students, parents and teachers by providing them with brochures, free gifts, and hands-on experiments!
Our Outreach volunteers conducted experiments such as: DNA extraction from strawberries, gel electrophoresis, and micropipette training. Strawberry DNA Extraction proved to be the favorite among the experiments conducted at the booth. Volunteers went around the festival to let people know DNA extraction was taking place every hour on the hour. To their surprise, herds of excited families began to line up at the booth for a chance to extract strawberry DNA. Our volunteers worked hard to make sure every kid had an opportunity to learn the process and even got to keep the DNA they extracted! Parents surrounded the table to get a picture of their children working with our volunteers and asked about courses and programs offered at Fullerton College and IVC. The biotech booth was continuously surrounded by bright eyed students and parents with an affinity for science, which made our volunteers continue to work diligently to answer all questions and perform experiments.
The purpose for participating in such an event was to spread the word about the OC Biotech Education Program, which is partnered with five colleges: Fullerton, Santa Ana, Irvine Valley, Santiago Canyon, and Orange Coast, and to provide insight on some of the hands-on experience being taught in the classroom. OC Biotech Education’s mission was to spark an interest in future scientists, doctors, engineers, etc. and from the enthusiastic turn out, the mission was successful.
Written by Vincent Tercero