ACS and tri-BETA host fifth annual STEMfest

Dr. Duncan (left), Dr Unger (middle), Jenny Chancey-Unger (right) come together to support their students at STEMfest. – Maylee Warren

On Sunday Oct. 8, at 2:00 p.m. in the Alumni Gym, Maryville College American Chemical Society (ACS) and Tri-BETA biology club hosted their fifth annual STEMfest:  a celebration of all things science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Despite condensed droplets of water vapor causing a rainy day, the event was still a huge success and was moved from its usual location in front of Sutton to the Alumni Gym and Bartlett Hall.

Maryville College students, staff and faculty along with the Maryville community were welcomed to enjoy the science fair-themed festival with games such as Life-Sized Operation, Beat the Heartand many more. There was also a very competitive pie-eating contest with MC junior Boomer Russell taking the first first place award and the esteemed champion pie hat.

Fabulous prizes were given away to lucky winners in exchange for tickets as well as random raffles for larger prizes, including a brand new laptop awarded to junior Sarah Glenn.

In order to keep the theme of science and learning, there were several stations dedicated to interactive experiments and even species identification straight from the college woods. For example, students discussed the stonefly, an aquatic insect present in local freshwater that is a great indicator of water quality.

Numerous STEM-based community partners joined in on the festivities, providing informative booths and opportunities for networking. Future MC Scots were also present, as STEMfest leaders partnered with Maryville College Admissions to showcase the colleges wonderful STEM department to the prospective students. The event was a success for the younger crowd as well, as kids of all ages ran around excitedly, enjoying the activities or carrying swirls of cotton candy bigger than their heads.

Fortunately, the celebrations did not stop after just one afternoon of science and math filled activities. ACS and tri-BETA later travelled to Union Grove Middle School on Thursday, Oct. 19 to present the demonstrations and STEMfest games once again to the young students. After all, teaching children about STEM in a fun and engaging way to inspire the next Einstein.

Faculty advisors Dr. Nathan Duncan, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Dave Unger, associate professor of biology, along with student club members and local sponsors made this event possible. After all, science can be fun!

Be on the lookout for future events held by both organizations, and start counting down the days until STEMfest VI.

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