On Saturday, October 19, 2019, Southeastern’s Sustainability Center participated
in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Fest at Mercedes-Benz Superdome
in New Orleans. Dozens of hands on exhibits featured science, technology, and learning
experiences. Hundreds of children and their families interacted with The Center’s
booth, alongside other departments from Southeastern including Biology, Computer Science,
Science Olympiad, and Engineering and Technology.
At the booth, graduate assistant Gina Howell and undergraduate student volunteer Dawson Miller taught the attendees about energy conservation using wind and solar power models to interact with the kids. A 3D garbage can and recycling bin on display also drew in conversations with the children on what can and cannot be recycled and why recycling is important. Next to the booth stood a colorful banner detailing The Center’s sustainable effort, including a description of the University’s geothermal dorms (the first of their kind in Louisiana and the second largest in the states).
Nearby, the Sustainability Center’s manager, Alejandro Martinez, was thoroughly immersed
in educating crowd after crowd about passive solar energy using The Center’s Heliodon
(a device used to calculate the Sun’s positioning and its effect on objects). Next
to this massive device spun a wind turbine, luring in hundreds of inquisitive minds
to discuss and interact with wind power. A solar panel was also used to demonstrate
to students the concept of solar power and what
clean energy is all about.
Behind the scenes in the midst of the fun was Southeastern’s Assistant Director of Math Science Upward Bound high school program Wendy Conarro. Well known for her community outreach efforts and coordination and planning of numerous STEM events, Wendy was enthused with the turnout at the Superdome. STEM events allow “…parents to learn about activities planned throughout the school year to support their children’s interest and development,” said Conarro. The participatory exhibits over the span of the entire stadium’s field provided numerous learning opportunities and endless fun for the entire family.
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