Levitating off the ground with hovercraft rides. Learning to code and maneuver robots. Designing and launching rockets. Viewing the stars in a mobile planetarium.
Those are just a few of the more than 100 science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM) activities at the third annual Jay Science and Engineering Academy STEM Fest.
The student-organized event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6 at Jay High School, 7611 Marbach Road. Parking is available in the student and faculty lots.
STEM Fest is free and open to the public with activities geared toward kindergarten through eighth grade.
“STEM Fest allows the greater San Antonio area to be exposed to several STEM career and study paths that students will be able to pursue in high school, college, and life,” says Camryn De Leon, 12th grade. “It gives younger generations a chance to learn something new, see things from a different perspective, and hopefully get the inspiration, spark, and "ah-ha!" moment to become something much greater throughout their lives.”
Attendees will be given “passports” upon arrival with maps of activities which all take place in the school’s courtyard, cafeteria, and gym. The activities are all self-paced driven by age and area of interest. Topics include physics, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, biology, math, and more.
More than 250 Jay SEA students are involved in the event, designing and assisting with the activities. As part of their community outreach Jay SEA students regularly bring STEM activities to elementary and middle school students, but STEM Fest is hosted at their campus and last year attracted 750 attendees.
“STEM Fest isn’t just about games, food trucks, or prizes,” says Kelly O’Kane, 12th grade. “STEM Fest is about inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. Exposing younger students to STEM is so important, and with this event we’re helping them by giving them the opportunity to venture into the deep world of STEM.”
Other sponsors and presenters are Youth Code Jam, the Doseum, Southwest Research Institute, Starbucks, Tech Skills on Wheels, HEB, Whataburger, the San Antonio Public Library, Trinity University Physics and Astronomy department, University of the Incarnate Word Feik School of Pharmacy, USAA Aspire, Palo Alto College STEM Center, UT Health, and the Smile Center.
Jay SEA spirit items will be available for purchase with all funds benefiting student activities. Food trucks will also be located in the front of the school for attendees to purchase food.