STEM Festival to Offer Amateur Radio, Animal Tracking, Mobius Strips

STEM Festival
Brodie Ritchie experiments with bubbles at the “What Can a Tree Tell You?” station during last year’s STEM Festival. The Mineral County STEM Festival will be held again Saturday, March 22, from noon to 4 p.m. on the Potomac State College of WVU campus.

KEYSER, WV – Come explore the “Original Social Media” – Amateur Radio. Pretend to be a scientist tracking the movement of a wild animal. Construct Mobius strips from cash register tape and examine some of the interesting properties.

These are just a few of many interesting activities to take place during Mineral County’s second Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Festival, to be held Saturday, March 22, from noon to 4 p.m., on the campus of Potomac State College of West Virginia University, in Keyser, W.Va.

Potomac State College Computer Information Systems Instructor Jill Schaumloeffel says amateur radio has something for everyone. She invites students to try their hand at amateur radio “texting” using Morse code and to see Ohm’s Law in action. Students will also see an operating radio, listen to people from around the world and discover how to use magnetism to create electricity and see what makes a good conductor.

Although Carol Richardson-Heft is currently a visiting math instructor at Potomac State College this year, she served as a fisheries biologist years ago and conducted research using radio telemetry on largemouth bass. Her activity is titlef, “Tracking Wildlife.”

“I will have radio transmitters and a hand held antennae that students can use to pretend to be a scientist tracking the movement of a wild animal,” explains Richardson-Heft. “The students will be able to move the antennae in various directions to basically try and pin point where the ‘animal’ is located.  Many biologist and researchers use this technique to study the movement patterns of wild animals in their natural habitat.  It provides valuable data that could not otherwise be obtained by conventional means. I will have information and pictures on various studies on different animals that are currently or have been tagged with radio transmitters and studied by various researchers.”

Mathematics Assistant Professor Richard Petersen will conduct a hands-on activity in which the participants of all ages will construct Mobius strips​from cash register tape and examine some of their interesting properties.

The mission of the STEM Festival is to re-invigorate the interest of our youth in STEM activities and careers by producing and presenting compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science gatherings.

The Mineral County STEM Network’s purpose is to increase communication among individuals, business/industry and organizations interested in encouraging our youth to consider the different STEM fields for careers.

For more information on the Mineral County STEM Network visit http://mineralstem.com/ and for regular updates on the STEM Festival “Like” our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MineralCountySTEM .