These four events in October 2016 marked the start of the ten-week training and mentoring program that the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair and THINK Together have planned in hopes of teaching the students at the aforementioned middle schools how to develop a science project. The first training and mentoring session began on October 26, 2016.
By February 2017, the students will be prepared to have their own Mini-Science Fair, where all of their hard work will be showcased.
“The best part of any one of these events is being next to the students as they go through that eureka moment,” OC Science Vice President of Marketing Neah Lekan said. “That moment of discovery, when the kids have a smile on their faces, is a big deal.”
OC Science, an affiliated Youth Leadership Program of OCSEF, a student-run volunteering program dedicated to promote science and engineering in Orange County, has been responsible for conducting the Ask-a-Scientist Nights and will conduct the training sessions. All of the students volunteers are highly qualified and have been trained to provide the most meaningful and memorable experience for the middle school students.
“I believe that the future of the world depends on the next generation’s education in STEAM,” OC Science Director of Event Logistics and Registration Vesal Razavimaleki said. “And involving young students in engaging activities, such as those operated by OC Science, are a key part of keeping them active.”
THINK Together is an organization that creates opportunities for all kids to discover their passions and reach their full potential. Already, over 300 students have attended the four Ask-a-Scientist Nights. The Chair of the Outreach Committee and OCSEF Board Member Dean Gilbert has high expectations for this program.
"Seeing all of the young future scientists and engineers get excited as they participated in a variety of hands-on activities was an overwhelming experience for me,” Gilbert said after the Utt Middle School Ask-a-Scientist Night. “Bringing this opportunity to Utt Middle School is so important, for it is one step closer in breaking down existing and perceived barriers for these students that probably do not have access to a rich hands-on science curriculum."