Area middle school students dive into Science Alive workshopsby Jan Janes on Mar 15, 2020
Prior to the cancellation of large events due to the coronavirus, more than 250 middle school students spent a Saturday morning at Gavilan College, participating in Science Alive. Students can attend three different hour-long workshops. The program has been offered since 2001.
Many current Gavilan students volunteer each year to share the love of science, recalling their own visits to the college when they participated in the program as youth.
Science Alive students line up by group at the Gavilan College Student Center,
then navigate to the labs and classrooms across campus where 18 different science
workshops are held. Ken Wagman (standing on rock), Science Alive program
coordinator and long-time math instructor, gets the teams organized and moving.
Students discover the properties of light, including its ability to bend.
Using basic household ingredients of milk, food coloring and vegetable oil,
students explore chemical reactions.
More chemistry, as students discover the multiple properties of dry ice,
including making bubbles.
Students control the spin while on a special stool, exploring the laws of motion.
“Just squidding around” allows students to dissect a squid's unique body parts.
In the computer science lab, students discover the fun of building their own bricks game.
Presented with evidence in a ‘murder case,' students deduce the culprit by
examining and analyzing fingerprints, hair and blood samples.
Students learn about the heart’s function and anatomy by dissecting a lamb’s heart.
Students examined the eye’s function and anatomy by dissecting a cow’s eye.
During Slime Time, much more than an afternoon craft, students learn about
polymers and how to use protective gear and laboratory equipment.
Amid stiff competition of which group could create the largest fractal sculpture,
students also learned a new kind of geometry, drawing computer-based fractal designs.
Middle school students construct and operate hovercrafts, which travel on a
cushion of air, building them from polystyrene take-out trays, a fan and a battery.
Deep in trebuchet construction, students later took their equipment outside
and launched round balls, with furthest distance the winning parameter.
Volunteer student groups led multiple workshops during the event, including the UC Santa
Cruz Society of Physics Students, UC Santa Cruz Women in Physics and Astrophysics,
UC Santa Cruz Chemistry Club, along with Gavilan College STEM and MESA students.