Over 125 youth competed in the Kohl’s Explore Your Future STEM Program Showcase this past Friday at COA’s Goldin Center (2320 W. Burleigh Street). Throughout the two hour event youth were challenged to work as teams to complete physics and engineering experiments. Preteens from Auer Avenue School, Hopkins-Lloyd CommunitY School, O.W. Holmes School, the COA Riverwest Center, and Westside Academy participated.
The event was split into two fun STEM activities, which teams of 8-15 kids worked in to demonstrate their growing knowledge and complete collaboratively. To kick things off, the energetic youth teams experimented with weight distribution and basic engineering principles to see which team could support a person’s weight with the least number of paper cups used. The winning group was able to apply what they have learned to create a design that held over 110 pounds with just seven ordinary drinking cups. After that, youth worked together to assemble do-it-yourself paper rocket launchers out of 2-liter bottles, bicycle tubing, tape, and other supplies within a short time limit. The team that launched their rocket the highest won through an ingenious application of bubblegum as sealant for the launcher, which allowed a high amount of thrust.
COA’s Associate Executive Director Joe Trevino said “It was great seeing the kids apply what they learned in the Kohl’s Explore Your Future STEM program to this challenge. You could see how much they enjoyed working together and how proud the kids were to participate.”
The STEM Showcase was part of the brand-new Kohl’s Explore Your Future STEM program at COA, which aims to provide high-quality scientific education and career exploration to over 550 children in the first year alone. This program is a vital new addition to the agency’s year-round youth development programming and is offered at nine sites, including the Riverwest Center, Goldin Center, Hopkins-Lloyd Community School CLC (Community Learning Center), Auer Avenue CLC, O.W. Holmes CLC, Anne F. Doerfler School CLC, Lincoln Center for the Arts CLC, Riverside University CLC, and Westside Academy CLC.
See more pictures from the event on COA’s Facebook page.