EAC to host the new Gila Valley Health, Safety, and Science Festival
By Lori Dugan
Thatcher, AZ—Eastern Arizona College will play host later this month to the Gila Valley’s first-ever Arizona SciTech Festival. The Festival is a celebration of health, safety, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
“The science, technology, engineering, arts, and math part of the festival is all day Saturday [February 28],” explains EAC Dean of Instruction, Dr. Phil McBride, “but there are events scheduled throughout the week including activities for children, the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center’s Health and Safety Fair, and family activities at EAC’s Thatcher and Discovery Park Campuses.”
Visitors to the festival will see a showcase of the technology and innovation now being used in Gila Valley businesses, health services, education, and environmental research and preservation.
Volunteers stationed at each activity will share their own career path and follow up with anyone who wants more information. “We hope to excite young students about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) through hands-on activities,” says McBride. “And no event is complete without fun and exciting giveaways, so look for opportunities to win iPad tablets and more while you’re there!”
In addition to the health and safety fair and art show that will be going on in the EAC Activities Center, there will be several other events, activities, and lectures beginning at 10 a.m. These include an emergency services crash scene, helicopter, FMI copper rocks, Gila Valley farming technology with small and large tractors, a soil sieve, computerized mapping, a thermite/elephant toothpaste demonstration, a bowling ball swing, water quality analysis of tap water vs. canal water (with a look at the composition of water chemistry using digital hydrolab equipment), a trebuchet, welding demonstrations, plastic injection molding machine demonstrations, 3-D printer demonstrations, green-screen video activity, Rangoli art, rock and mineral properties and identification, “The Amazing Body” experiments, “Fighting Pathogens and Sickness” hand washing exercise, DNA fingerprinting, make your own Cartesian Diver, silvering bottles and Christmas ornaments experiment, and “Blood and Bones” activities. Other presentations planned for Thatcher Campus in the large lecture room of the Math/Science building include “A Mutualistic Symbiotic Relationship: Partnering with Eastern Arizona College on STEM Based Projects,” a lecture by EAC Biology instructor Dave Henson, a “Size and Age of the Universe” activity where students will explore the size and age of the Universe through a visually driven query and response roundtable, a Solar System activity where community members will learn the relative scale of our solar system by creating a pocket sized scale model, and a Chemistry Magic Show where attendees will watch chemistry come alive with some exciting chemistry demonstrations. The festival will conclude at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus in Safford with performances in the Grand Kiva from Pima High School Choir, Pima High School Band, Thatcher Middle School Choir, Thatcher High School Band, Thatcher High School Choir, and the Gila Valley String Quartet. Other activities at Discovery Park Campus will include a “Seed Projects” demonstration at the greenhouse, STEM lessons/activities at the Visitor Learning Center, and a star party including shuttle rides, gallery tours, and astronomy lessons. For a complete schedule of events or for more information about the Arizona SciTech Gila Valley Festival go to SciTech or contact McBride at (928) 428-8404 or Phil McBride.