MONTEVALLO—The University of Montevallo, along with the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) and Shelby County schools will host the premiere Science Festival for school districts in central Alabama Friday, Nov. 7. Events will take place beginning at 8:15 a.m. in Harman Hall and on the lawn of Bibb Graves Hall. The festival will conclude at 1 p.m.
Approximately 250 4th and 5th grade students will work in teams competing in a number of science and engineering projects including egg drops, bridge building and catapult launches. The students were assigned their topics one month prior to this event, and they were encouraged to begin their exploration and research at once. On Friday, they will be given the necessary materials and will apply their research to the engineering and design of a structure meeting specific criteria. Awards will be presented for 1stthrough 3rd place in each competition.
In addition, students will observe and participate in a number of hands-on experiments with professional scientists and university students enrolled in science and education-related fields. Students will have opportunities to learn about tree identification, worm casting, spaghetti towers, Alabama mammals and more.
Other cooperating organizations for the 2014 Science Festival include the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, Aldridge Gardens, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, 4-H and the University of Montevallo Regional In-Service Center.
John Woolard, AMSTI science specialist, said, “We’re very excited about this Friday’s Science Festival at the University of Montevallo. The Science Festival is a new creation that grew out from a partnership between the AMSTI science specialists and the Shelby County Gifted Education Program supervisors. The UM College of Education and College of Arts and Sciences also provided student volunteers and faculty to serve as guest judges for the engineering competitions.”
Woolard continued, “While competitions of this nature are not unique to Alabama, the entire premise of this Festival is extraordinary due to its central focus on student participants who will work in teams to design, plan and engineer their projects on the Montevallo campus the day of the competition.”