Local Children Excited by Science at ‘Spring Into Science’ Event
Around 80 children and their parents recently had the chance to experience science up close and personal at “Spring Into Science,” an event recently hosted by the Auburn chapter of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS).
Hosted at the Alpha Pavilion at Ag Heritage Park on March 26, women from the Colleges of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM), Agriculture and Engineering hosted engaging tables related to their scientific and engineering fields.
The first through fifth grade children received a passport that was stamped after they visited tables demonstrating science experiments, demonstrations and other science related activities ranging from snake handling to jump-fueled rocket launches.
GWIS annually hosts a similar event in the fall, but this was the first time such an event has been held in the spring. GWIS Faculty Advisor Dr. Jessica Gilpin said the group hopes to make the spring event and annual one as well.
“It is a great opportunity to expose elementary students to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subject matter and to get them excited about STEM fields,” Dr. Gilpin said. “It also gives female graduate students the chance to showcase some of their research and practice talking to the public about complex engineering and scientific topics. It is very empowering to have a room full of intelligent and strong women running a STEM event.”
Gilpin said the excitement that radiated off the kids filled the ALFA Pavilion and that GWIS received great feedback from the parents.
Auburn resident Amy Wells was one of these parents. She brought her third grade daughter to “Spring Into Science” to take advantage of such a unique science event geared towards kids.
“We have found that one of the things about living in a college town is all of the activities and the engagement of the community by the university,” Wells said. “We just feel like it’s imperative that we take advantage of those.”
Wells said she plans to bring her daughter to the next event.
“I thought the student leaders were very engaging,” she said. “They seemed to enjoy what they were doing. They definitely know their subject matter. I thought it was fantastic.”