7th annual STEMfest features apps, social research, free food

Jean Sanders

Nitrogen-infused ice cream, smartphone apps, robotic presentations, statistical research projects and free tacos were highlights of the seventh annual STEMfest held on the quad during a special activities period May 20.

Many of the projects, from various math and science classes and clubs, relied on surveys sent to students that asked about social activities, music preferences and overall school experiences. These social research experiments included a presentation comparing iTunes to Soundcloud, an interactive project involving Instagram food photos and survey results about social happiness at Harvard-Westlake depending on grade level entry to the school.

Students crowded around the Molecular Gastronomy class’ table, where seniors infused Nutella and Oreos into ice cream using nitrogen and passed it out to those who waited in line.

Little Lab Booth, a smartwatch app-making company, held a raffle for students to win an Apple iWatch. One student demonstrated a design for a better solar panel.

“I learned a lot of great concepts,” said Oliver Loshitzer ’15. “I also had a lot of fun.”

Math and science teachers encouraged students to explore the presentations, and some teachers even gave students extra credit for attending.

“I think STEMfest is really awesome because I get to see projects that my peers are working on. It’s very interesting, and I think it makes people want to take the classes that the projects are from,” Veronica Crow ’16 said.

Students held a bake sale to raise money to buy a larger tank for the two goldfish housed in the library, that were brought in for the “Moby-Dick” Big Read held last month.