Robots, Welding and Mouse Brains: STEM Week Returns to SAC

Students listen to a robotics demonstration in the engineering department's fabrication lab Monday. / Nikki Nelson / el Don
Students listen to a robotics demonstration in the engineering department’s fabrication lab Monday. / Nikki Nelsen / el Don

Interested in learning more about what it takes to major in science, technology, engineering or math? Try your hand at welding, explore your DNA, see how robots actually work and more when STEM Week returns to Santa Ana College with another five days of panels, speakers and hands-on workshops to help you get acquainted with SAC’s resources and the career possibilities afforded by this growing and diverse field.

STEM Week started Monday with a NASA aeronautics workshop, a robot lab and a tour of our solar system, presented inside the Tessman Planetarium. Events continue all day today and every day until Friday, culminating with a keynote speech on sustainability from Alaska’s Bernie Karl. STEM Week events are free and are open to all students, regardless of major.

“It is a good idea to push STEM because the world is changing and technology and the arts does not interest students as much, so it is positive that the school offers this for students,” English major Natalie James said.

While the more than 25 educational workshops, presentations and activities planned for this year’s STEM Week will no doubt interest students already majoring in STEM-related fields, the events are really geared towards those who are undecided about their goals. The hope is that students can engage with SAC’s STEM resources and discover a love for science, technology, engineering or math in the process.

“Science majors are already on a path to honing their passion for science. Undeclared majors on the other hand may not be aware of their brewing subconscious passion for science,” biology professor Kimo Morris said.

But STEM Week isn’t just for students who are currently or potentially considering a STEM career. Many of the presentations, including the robot battles being held by Cal State Fullerton engineering majors on Wednesday, are intriguing in their own right and will benefit students of any discipline.

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“STEM week is a great opportunity for all students to learn a little more about science. Many of the activities are quite interesting,” Jorge Lopez, biology department chair, said.

STEM Week 2016 Schedule by el Don News on Scribd

Nikki Nelsen

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