Family Science Night is tonight in Basalt | AspenTimes.com

Family Science Night is tonight in Basalt

Michael McLaughlin
The Aspen Times

The demonstrations and experiments during the Family Science Night at Basalt Middle School can be spectacular, like this one from last year's event.

Science enthusiasts will have a chance to get their hands on some real scientific activities tonight at the Family Science Night event at Basalt Middle School from 6 to 8 p.m.

The event is open to any middle school student in the Roaring Fork Valley and sold out last year. The John McConnell Math & Science Center is coming up from Grand Junction to run the show, which will include demonstrations, hands-on activities with rockets, bridge building, physics and motion experiments, wind-driven cars and more.

"The main goal is to make science more engaging and more hands on," said Jeremy Voss, the middle school principal. "If we can get kids excited about science, that's where the jobs are going to be. I've seen some pretty incredible science programs at some Front Range schools and I want to make sure we're not falling behind with science.

The event is part of a push by the middle school to enhance STEM activities. Stem stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEM education is considered a national priority in the United States.

Basalt Middle school recently won several grants to help build the only state-of-the-art maker space in the district. A maker space is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art can meet, socialize and collaborate.

Brandon Pollard is a STEM Fellow at John McConnell and will be at the event.

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"Our main focus will be the maker space and to help promote it," Pollard said. "There'll be a 3-D printer there as well and we'll show some of the amazing capabilities a 3-D printer brings. There's going to be a lot of hands-on activities with five or six demonstration tables. We want to offer plenty of opportunities for kids to build things and conduct their own experiments."

The middle school is hoping to see its maker space completed as soon as possible.

"Supplies are ordered and we hope to have the maker space up and running soon," said Allison Johnson, the middle school communications liaison. "We're leaping into a whole new world of design and fostering critical thinking skills in a creative way."

The event is open to all middle schoolers and parents in the Roaring Fork Valley, but space is limited. An adult must accompany students to the event. Register for the event online or email Allison Johnson at ajohnson@rfschools.com.

mmclaughlin@aspentimes.com

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