They say if you want to increase the engagement of students in a classroom, just bring out a hands-on activity.
If you want to triple the engagement, take that activity outside.
Those two things, outside hands-on experiences, are just what are in the works for the fourth annual STEAM EXPO to be held at USU campus in Blanding on Friday, April 7.
STEAM EXPO chairman and USU Technical Coordinator, Ed Larson, is excited about this year’s addition of the STEAM EXPO.
Larson, who first developed the Expo four years ago, has his committee in high gear, readying a first class experience for all ages.
“STEAM” really personifies everything we do here at Utah State University,” he maintains. “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics.”
The Expo, which has drawn close to 2000 people every year, showcases the University and is truly a delight for everyone.
This year, the Expo is being held in conjunction with the 40-year celebration of the college in Blanding and will include everything from science demonstrations to live music and nearly everything in between.
Normally a two-day affair, the Expo this year has been squeezed into one giant activity day, beginning at 9 a.m. and culminating with music by Clive Romney at 7 p.m. Romney, a storytelling, singer-songwriter and arranger with over 130 albums to his credit, is well known in Utah Folk Arts circles.
The day begins with outdoor science demonstrations, and dozens of hands-on activities, including the STEAM Encounter Zone. Cultural performances will be part of the morning along with a robotics competition, rocket launches, the always-popular Blanding Fire Department extraction demonstrations, and physiology projects from USU students.
And don’t miss the annual Car/Vehicle show, which will be bigger than ever, featuring ambulances, fire trucks, search and rescue vehicles, Utah Highway Patrol controlled collision car that was originally designed by USU students, Ivan Carr’s famous homemade pedal car, and the vehicle that started it all, the USU heavy equipment mini-excavator.
During this excitement, USU’s version of Ted Talks will be occurring in the Health Science Library all day long, with discussions by USU professors and others.
With speakers such as Bob McPherson, Eric Rowley, Henri Picciotto, Brynja Kohler, Eric Thorson, Don Larson, Mark Noirot, Shane Brewer, and Piotr Runge, an invigorating, stimulating day could be spent right there.
Be sure and take in the Russell Creative Works presentation, too, by novelist Josie Russell, whose husband, Richard, will be creating a painting as she presents.
And from 4 to 6 p.m., celebrate with Utah State University the 40-year anniversary of the San Juan Center in the foyer of the Health Science Library.
Traffic will be shut off into the campus, with parking available in the parking lots on the edge of campus. Most of the demonstrations and events will be set up in the parking lot across from the student union building. Come prepared to spend a fascinating day.
With food vendors galore, all these hands-on events and a fair-like atmosphere set in a compelling outdoor setting; it would be a shame to miss this year’s version of the STEAM EXPO.