CPD brings the WOW! of STEM to Bright Futures Fair

Submitted by the Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division

What makes for an ideal fun-filled summer day? For most kids, it’s playing kickball, hopscotch, Hula Hoop, jump rope, basketball, and learning about Newton’s Laws of Motion.

Physics? Yes!

The Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division was proud to represent San Jacinto College at the 30th annual Harris County Precinct One Street Olympics and Bright Futures fair held on Aug. 4, at NRG Arena. The event was attended by more than 2,000 children ages 5 – 15. CPD presented three tables filled with engaging Mind Trekkers STEM activity stations. Among the interactive game-based experiments:

· Future civil engineers tried their hand at solving Houston traffic congestion by designing a bridge that could bear a max capacity load of cars (pink erasers)!

· Future computer scientists began their journey to increase CPU processing speeds by participating in a logic challenge to solve the Tower of Hanoi puzzle.

· Future astronauts launched their careers by receiving early instruction on how to build their own underwater robot model using empty water bottles and a battery-powered toothbrush.

· Future physicists were amazed to learn how color wavelength absorption can “trick” our eyes into seeing colors through the use of rose-colored lenses.

In 1987, Commissioner El Franco Lee created the Harris County Precinct One Street Olympics Program.

Today, Commissioner Rodney Ellis continues the tradition. Throughout the summer, kids participate in physical recreational activities in their community.

In August, the groups from across the precinct gather for an Olympics-style competition to find the best athletes in each of the street games (hoops, hula, foot races, jump rope, etc.). Afterwards, kids move to the Brighter Futures Fair. This fair is an educational opportunity for youth to learn about health, safety and careers.

CPD was delighted to partner and support the program by bringing the WOW! of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to life for these youngsters, as they had fun while thinking about their future careers. A big thank you to the CPD employees that contributed to make this a fantastic experience: Linda Matlock, Madison Funderburg, Laura Martinez, Shaun Stacey, Gloria Wynne, Abijah Kratochvil, Director of Education & Lifelong Learning, Dr. Janis Fowler, Aerospace Academy Director, Dr. Janice Sullivan, Dean of Community Education, and Dr. Sarah Janes, Associate Vice Chancellor CPD.