Students explore science beyond the classroom at annual STEMfest

By Claire Goldsmith

Students walked across a pool of non-Newtonian fluid and posed with “STEM Claus” Monday May 21 during break at the “Beyond the-Test Fest.” 

The display of science, technology, engineering and mathematics class projects ran for the past three years as “STEM Fest.” However, students in Topics in Calculus and Statistics, who organized the event, rebranded the event to reflect its expansion to cover disciplines outside STEM fields.

Studies in Scientific Research students displayed projects in Munger Science Center, showcasing the experiments they designed and performed throughout the year while Advanced Topics in Computer Science presented video games and mobile apps like Julie Ko’s ’12 ladder climbing game app for Android. Booths gave current juniors tips on senior privileges and senior independent studies

Under the direction of chemistry teacher Krista McClain, students wearing capes and wizard hats poured liquid nitrogen on milk, sugar and vanilla to make ice cream. The Robotics Club controlled a gleaming metal robot that shot baskets and balanced on a wobbling platform as students cheered.

TiCS students created a “Dip Your Hand” communal art project where students could draw, paint or handprint a giant tarp, reflecting the school’s motto, “Make Your Mark.”

“It’s different than the usual STEMfest because it’s more about going beyond the classroom and outside of what we’ve learned academically, in a fun and creative manner with your friends,” TiCS student Meghan Hartman ’12 said as she stamped the canvas with neon paint.

In Ahmanson Lecture Hall, students watched the Math and Technology Film Festival, comprised of student films about the STEM subjects. Films included Molly Cinnamon’s ’14 “This is Laura,” which won second place in a National Center for Women in Technology contest for movies about the future of technology.

“It was great that other students had the chance to see my film and blow off steam while still learning about science,” Cinnamon said.