STEM Fest Inspired Students to Dream in ‘Numbers’

LOS ANGELES (March 23, 2017) – Nearly 2,000 students, families and community members were inspired as part of the goal – “Inspire and Be Inspired” of the Second Annual Local District East Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fest held on Saturday at Legacy High School. Hosted by 30 schools in the South East region, the Fest was a combination of a festival and a Science and Engineering Fair; a celebration of STEM learning and experiences.

“The creativity that comes to fruition at the STEM Festival continues to reaffirm my commitment to student-led innovation,” said Board Member Dr. Ref Rodriguez. “Because of these collaborative opportunities, our future architects, engineers, scientists, and software developers are able to display their masterpieces made from cardboard boxes, rulers, Legos, and of course duct tape. It’s my hope that we will continue to learn from these students, schools and programs in order to proliferate this across the entire District.”                                 

“It was inspiring to watch my students guide visitors through the neuroscience learning they have done with Occidental College,” said Czarina Tran-Bernett, teacher at Ann St Elementary. 

Czarina facilitated a collaboration between her Ann St Elementary students and Occidental College neuroscience students to design and implement their learning station for the STEM Fest. “My students loved the fun learning they experienced sharing our STEM station with visitors and visiting other schools’ STEM Stations.” The Ann St Elementary/Occidental College collaboration was one of 36 interactive learning stations at the STEM Fest.

Young visitors became rocket scientists at Fourth St Elementary’s STEM Station. “I got to see my son as an engineer today, testing what makes a rocket go farther,” said Alex Hernandez. Fourth St Elementary teacher Alex Conejo said students helped him design their STEM station, and at the STEM Fest, students helped lead the STEM station by inviting visitors to build and test a rocket with the guiding question of how many fins make a stomp rocket go the farthest. Canejo enlisted parent volunteers to assist in pre-assembling nose cones to help reduce variability in the experiment and to facilitate a smooth rocket build for visitors. The stomp rockets were a popular STEM station.

“I’m excited to showcase how LAUSD is transforming the urban education landscape through STEAM Education,” said Principal C. Barrera-Ortiz. “Our hope is to share how the LAUSD is at the forefront of educating the STEAM leaders and innovators of the 21st Century.”

Several STEM Stations focused on environmental themes, like water conservation with the engineering of an aqueduct, and the repurposing materials at different makerspaces to create steam boats, gliders, recycling machines and works of art.

Emma Garcia, a student at Florence Elementary, helped focus the day with a question to the keynote presenter NASA Modern Figure and Mars Rover engineer, Christina Diaz, “I have a toy Goldiblocks and she is an engineer? Is your job like her job? Solving problems by building or creating things?” Diaz replied, “Yes, on this planet and beyond. And you can do it, too.”


Contact: Craig Sipes (323) 493-4940 (cell)


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