Superheroes, robots and even eyeball dissection. Bridges Elementary School students, grades K-6, explored the wonders of Science during an on-campus field trip hosted by the Arizona Science Center on Aug. 31.
The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) Extravaganza is a program the Arizona Science Center sponsors to promote learning and growth in students– and teachers. They bring the field trip to the students and work with the school to customize engaging activities during the school day, helping free time for teachers to meet for professional development.
Alyson Walker, director of youth programs at the Arizona Science center, said that the event allows students to engage in different areas of STEAM all within the same day as parent volunteers help chaperone.
“STEAM extravaganza is when we take over a school,” Walker said. “They get to see our superhero science assembly where they get to see the science behind super powers, they get to go to our planetarium and then we have some grade-specific activities. So Kinders get to try engineering flying devices in a wind tunnel, first graders are coding with kibos”
She said that all of the students experience some of the brain game centers, which are problem-solving stations that offer various challenges.
Kristin Sedig, media specialist teacher at Bridges Elementary, said that eyeball dissection was new activity added this year that should be a hit with the older grades.
“This is the second year that the science center has brought out multiple activities,” Sedig said. “They stage them around campus and the kids get to rotate through different activities and they get to do about four or five different activities during the day.”
Kristina Lee, parent volunteer, said she decided to chaperone and remembers how excited her son, Terry Lee, Kindergarten, was for the event.
“The teachers sent out a note and just asked for volunteers– I work full time– but when I can get the opportunity to come in the classroom, I do,” Lee said. “It’s great because the kids get a lot of hands on learning, and just how things work. And so it kind of ties into what they’re learning in school as well.”
Todd Berg, assistant principal at Bridges Elementary School, said the event required a lot of behind-the-scenes action.
“We’re very thankful for the Arizona Science Center for being here. We have a great partnership with them and we’d like to continue that partnership with them,” Berg said. “We had a great turnout of people that wanted to help out that some grade levels and classes had to draw names, because everybody wanted to be here for the exciting day. So again, our community is so, so supportive of our school and we appreciate what they do.”