'Science fair on steroids': Culver's STEMFest

Hands-on experiences galore on special day

STEMFest takes over Culver schools

CULVER, Ore. - Students from Culver's elementary, middle and high schools were busily having fun at their STEMFest Thursday -- a chance to show that learning about science, math and related fields can bring enthusiasm and creativity to the fore.

Students from kindergarten through 12th grade cheered as STEMFest began at 9 a.m.

The event was kicked off by a traveling group from Portland's Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. A speaker performed an experiment with liquid nitrogen, putting balloons into the liquid, exciting the kids when the balloons shrank when they touched the liquid. He then threw liquid nitrogen into the air, causing it to quickly evaporate and turn into a cloud. 

From there, students headed over to the middle school building, where students in the sixth to eighth grades had their projects lined up.

One teacher described STEMFest as "a science fair on steroids" -- and that's exactly what it looked like. 

Elementary students walked through the school, asking questions of the middle schoolers about their projects and taking part in the activities the students had at each station to explain their science project.

Eighth-grader Emma Hayes was the mastermind behind a project that focuses on fruit bats.The project teaches students that not only birds and bees are responsible for pollinating.  

"It helps kids be more hands on with their work, rather than being closed minded. Being more open-minded with how they work and how they learn other things." Emma said.

The project also showed how fruit bats use their feet and mouths to pollinate plants. At this station, they tested their dexterity by placing a spoon in their mouths to move pieces of paper from one bowl to another. The students had two minutes to see who could scoop the most paper into their own bowl. 

The students moved from middle school to where the high school students have their projects set up for the festival.

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