Article by Pranav Moudgalya
September 8th, 2019 marked the fourth annual STEAM in the Park, an exciting, hands-on event hosted by education non-profit STEAM for All.
Catering to students in grades 3-8, the STEAM in the Park event attracted over 160 students and 400 participants from Orange County and beyond. Run by a diligent and enthusiastic staff of 87 high school volunteers, the event was a staggering success and made waves in the OC community.
Present at the event were STEAM for All’s nine-sub organizations: OC Math Circle, OC Scholar, OC Science, OC Coder, All Girls Math Tournament (AGMT), OC Launch, OC Engineer, OC Hacker, and OC Arts.
Activities, ranging from science events such as “Elephant Toothpaste” and journalism activities such as “Vocab Extravaganza” were designed to spark student’s interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) and expose students to an educational opportunity beyond the classroom.
“It’s a great way to learn more about what you see in our world,” said Villa Fundamental middle-school student Delila.
Such sentiment was corroborated by many students in attendance.
“It was very challenging!” remarked elementary school math enthusiast Alyssa Noorani. “I like math, and [the game] was a very fun math puzzle!”.
Open to the public, the event garnered a tremendous amount of interest from educators, organization leaders, and city representatives alike.
“When you come out to an event like this, you’re exposed to something new,” said Andrew Hamilton, City of Irvine representative. “Exposure to all of this at once…gives children this age a nice idea of what’s out there.”
After months of planning, seeing the event come together was an exhilarating moment.
When asked about what his favorite part of the STEAM in the Park event was, volunteer and Trabuco Hills High School sophomore Imaad Rana stated that it was very empowering, “seeing the smiles on kids faces and how much fun they’re having”. To other high schoolers interested in volunteering, Rana says that “it’s a lot of fun and you’ll get so many opportunities and different experiences; it’s definitely worth it!”.
Even parents were ecstatic to see their children involved with engaging STEAM-related activities.
“Robotics was pretty cool!” said father of elementary school student, Daniel Niktash. “I will definitely bring my child to more STEAM for All events”.
Emceed by high school seniors Alex Kwon and Kasra Lekan, the STEAM in the Park event also featured a book sale for STEAM for All’s numerous educational publications, and a bake sale, with all profits going towards sustaining another year of free, hands-on educational events.
For more information on STEAM for All, STEAM in the Park, and how you can get involved, please visit steamforall.org.