Middle school students invited to Super STEAM Saturdays at WCC

July 26, 2022 Fran LeFort

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WCC alumna Aisha Bowe is shown leading a Super STEAM Saturday session in June 2022. The former NASA engineer and current tech CEO will offer another class to local youth in the summer of 2023. (Photo by JD Scott)


A new year of Super STEAM Saturdays kicks off August 13 at Washtenaw Community College.

Geared toward middle-school students, the free events are designed to generate interest in potential science, technology, engineering, art and math careers, all of which can start at WCC.

Washtenaw Community College faculty members will lead most of the monthly Super STEAM Saturdays 2022-2023 events, engaging middle school students in fun and interactive learning activities. Older and younger students are also invited to register.

Some events will occur in person on the WCC campus, while others will be hosted online. Register for each month’s activity on the Super STEAM Saturdays webpage.

Here is this year’s line-up.

August 13: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Coloring our Universe, Tiffany Fields

The universe is full of color, wonder and incredible things. Telescopes both on the ground and in space help us see what is beyond our planet so we can learn about the galaxy and the universe around us. However, the beautiful colorful images that we see usually aren’t made the same way that our cell phone might take an image. They usually start as just black and white pictures. With a bit of science and art combined, we can start to see the color in our universe. Through an online presentation and a virtual activity, students will get to learn a bit about light, the electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes and creating images for themselves!


September 24: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Optical Illusions: Do You See What “Eye” See?, Paola Vega-Torres

Have you ever wondered how optical illusions work? In this fun and interactive session we will dive deep into optical illusions. We will look at several different types of illusions and discover how the brain works.


October 1: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Fido And The Gray Wolf: Genetics and Conservation Genetics, Emily Thompson

Learn about the genetics of your dog and its close cousin, the gray wolf. Watch a demonstration experiment simulating genetics studies that you can perform later at home. Explore why gray wolves are endangered in Michigan's Isle Royale National Park. Find out how applications of genetic studies can save the gray wolf and other endangered species.


November 5: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Why Scientists MUST be Artists: A look into the disciplines of creativity, artistry, and altruism to STEM Innovation, Michael Naylor

This session offers a look into the qualities and mindsets of artists and promotes innovation and risk-taking, thinking out of the box and problem-solving, all cornerstones of STEM innovation. What we learn the closer we look at successful artists and geniuses in STEM fields is that they all thrive on innovative art.


December 3: In-person (1-2 p.m.)

Cool Chemistry, Tracy and Eric Schwab

Led by WCC Chemistry professors, students will build molecular models of everyday chemicals, gain experience using various chemicals and equipment and also solve several mysteries and crimes such as coin counterfeiting.


January 28: In-person (10 a.m.-Noon)

Dinosaurs!, David Wooten

Did you know there were over 1,000 different species of dinosaurs? Join a WCC biology professor for a unique opportunity to observe, touch, measure, and learn about dinosaur features from life-size 3D printed models! Participants will learn about paleontology, how to measure skull, teeth and bones for research, and discover how scientists use anatomical features to unlock the mysteries of dinosaur ecology and evolution.


February 4: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Science Poetry, Tom Zimmerman, Maryam Barrie and Ernesto Querijero

Students will learn poems written about science and all its complexity and beauty. Poetry is a powerful way to engage your intellect imaginatively. Prepare to be surprised.


March 18: TBD (1-2 p.m.)

Climate Change: Science, Scenarios, and Solutions, Smita Malpani

A fun, interactive and informative session that focuses on the science of climate change.


April 1: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Fun with Probability, Nicole Klemmer

Students will explore fun and practical applications of probability and statistics, investigating classic probability problems, play games and find ways to connect probability and statistics to everyday life.


May 13: Virtual (1-2 p.m.)

Persuasion from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’: The Pitch Technique, Claire Sparklin

You have great ideas, but do you ever have trouble convincing other people that your idea is great? Have you ever worked in a group and couldn’t get them to use your solution? Or tried unsuccessfully to influence your teacher to extend a due date? You need a quick, persuasive approach that you can remember right when you need it to get your point across. You need the pitch technique! In STEAM fields, it’s important to know your idea’s worth and communicate to stake holders. Come to this active, hands-on session to practice the pitch technique and start hearing a lot less “no” and more “yes”!


June and July dates are being finalized, one of which will feature WCC alumna Aisha Bowe, a former NASA engineer and rocket scientist and founder of LINGO self-paced coding kits for students.

Additionally, a STEM Career Exploration event will also be scheduled during one of the 2022-2023 events.

Tags: Campus Events, Community enrichment, STEAM, Super STEAM Saturdays

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