Upcoming STEM Festival to offer hands-on participation

Stem Lungs

Healthy Lung vs. Smoker’s Lung – Potomac State College of WVU Student Kylie Duckworth (right), a sophomore pre-occupational therapy major in 2014, points out to Andrew Mahovich, from Cumberland, Md., the differences between a healthy lung and a smoker’s lung during Mineral County’s STEM Festival last year. Also pictured is Lisa Short.

What better way to spend a Saturday than learning about dinosaurs, the concept of zip lines or how to make a cloud in a jar; and those are just a few of the fascinating presentations to be offered at the third annual Mineral County STEM (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Festival being held on the campus of Potomac State College (PSC) of West Virginia University, March 28, from noon till 4 p.m.

This free event is open to students, K-12, and their families and will host an ever-growing variety of workshops that’s sure to entice the curiosity in all of us.  

Participants exploring ‘Introduction to Dinosaurs” will experience hands-on models of various types of dinosaurs and fossils, including both vertebrate and invertebrate. This presentation will be given by Dr. Henry Falkowski, professor of chemistry at the College, and his wife, Terry, an adjunct instructor at the College.

“Tree Cookies” will feature PSC Professor of Forestry Jeff Jones as he demonstrates how to tell the age of a tree, along with discovering the type of forest it lived in.

Participants will also learn about various cloud types and have the opportunity to create their own cumulus cloud in a jar. “They will saturate their clouds with water to discover the effect of condensed water vapor on the mass of a cloud,” said Andrea Schafer, an elementary education instructor at the College whose presentation on clouds includes shaving cream, water and a few drops of food coloring.

“Hands-on Anatomy” will offer insight to the human anatomy and physiology. Participants can interact with dissected and preserved specimens and models as they learn about various adverse health-related issues and how to prevent them. Dr. Sheri Chisholm, a biology professor at the College, will be giving the presentation.

A few other presentations to be given by PSC employees include: The Four-Color Map Theorem by Dr. Richard Peterson, assistant professor of mathematics; Exploring Amateur Radio, Jill Schaumloeffel, computer science instructor; Building Virtual Worlds, Dr. Ken Musgrave, computer information systems instructor; and Engineering Interactive Projects, Mohammad Saifi, professor of engineering and computer science, and the Engineering Club.

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 .