September/October 2017 – Vol. 30 No. 1

March Madness Equals Science Madness in San Diego

Posted: Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

by Donna Ross

As I write this, our men’s basketball team at San Diego State University is battling for the Mountain West title and they are ranked 21st in the Associated Press poll.  The energy in the arena on game nights is electrifying and the enthusiasm for March Madness is undeniable on our campus.  Across the city, there is another madness taking hold this month, too.  Science!  March has become the science month for San Diego. The sheer number of community members, scientists, non-profits, and educators donating their time to share their passion for science is also electrifying.  Now, if only we could get the science activities nationally televised along with the basketball games!

Having so many science events in the community and schools during the month of March has a variety of benefits.  There are the obvious advantages.  The nifty-fifty program brings scientists into classrooms all across the county. Students meet scientists, learn about current research, become excited about career opportunities, and rekindle an interest in the discipline.  But, beyond the benefits for our students, it has been fascinating to watch the effects on researchers and community members.  At planning meetings, I have heard adults commenting

  • “I had no idea this research was occurring here in San Diego”
  • “Your daughter was asking really good questions. Have her email me if she is interested in doing an internship.”
  • “Some of our local schools seem to need a lot of support, I’m wondering what I can do during the rest of the year”
  • “I don’t know why we haven’t ever shared our resources, we have a lot of overlap in our areas of research”
  • “I don’t know how to present my research to children, but I’ll do it if someone will help me think about what would work.”
  • “I have a graduate student who would be a great fit for your lab.”
  • “Why haven’t we collaborated on this before?”

Science madness in March brings people with shared interest together and builds connections that benefit the entire community.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for many continued successful science events and, of course, the Mountain West title for the Aztecs.

Here are just a few of the events taking place in the San Diego area this month.  For more information on these events and descriptions of many other opportunities, be sure to check out all of the events on the website for the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering at http://sdsciencefestival.com

 

A sample of the Saturday, March 17 events:

San Diego State University, Science and Engineering Sampler

Saturday, March 17    11am-2pm  Free to the public
SDSU Campus, College of Sciences
Activities and demonstrations of science and technology projects taking place on campus.  Appropriate for all ages.

California State University, San Marcos Super STEM Saturday
Saturday, March 17    11am-2pm  Free to the public
CSUSM Campus
Activities and demonstrations of science and technology projects taking place on campus.  Appropriate for all ages.

San Diego Miramar College,  Science Fun
Saturday, March 17  9am-12pm  Free to the public
Miramar College Science and Technology Building
Appropriate for ages 9-99

Scripps Research Institute, SMART Teams Exploration
Saturday, March 17   9:30am-12pm  Free
Explore groundbreaking new research using Rapid Prototyping Technology.

 

A sample of the Sunday, March 18 events:

San Diego River Park Foundation, River Bugs are Cool!
Sunday, March 18   12pm-3pm  Free
Mission Valley Preserve and Interpretive Garden
Learn how river bugs can unlock the secret of the San Diego River’s health.

Cymer presents Imagination Innovation
Sunday, March 18  1pm-4pm  Free
Cymer Campus
Experiments and robots!!!

A sample of the Monday, March 19 events:

Tony Hawk and Physics of Skateboarding
Monday, March 19    10am-11am   Free
Carmel Valley Skate Park

Training for Endurance Events
Monday, March 19   6pm-7:30pm  Free
Running and training tips with Dr. Jason Karp

A sample of the Tuesday, March 20 events:

General Atomics Tour w/ Bus
Tuesday, March 20    9am-12pm  Free (bus included)
Facility tour of General Atomics for school groups

Maritime Robotics
Tuesday, March 20  3:30-5pm  Free
2877 Historic Decatur Rd.
Tour and demo of mini-ROV underwater vehicles

A sample of the Wednesday, March 21 events:

Crime Scene and Traffic Accident Investigation
Wednesday, March 21  9am-1pm  Free
Escondido Police Department

Advancing Understanding of Human Health and Disease
Wednesday, March 21  3pm-6pm  Free
Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine

Science Speed Round
Wednesday, March 21  6pm-8pm  Free
Short talks about mind-boggling science!
The Neurosciences Institute

A sample of the Thursday, March 22 events:

Career Night
Thursday, March 22,    5-7:30pm  Free
UC San Diego Extension
Career guidance and course opportunities

Science Applications International Corporation Technology Demos
Thursday, March 22,  5:30-7pm  Free
SAIC Vista Technology Center
Learn how VACIS technology allows people to see through trucks and other things.

A sample of the Friday, March 23 events:

Mad Science presents Spin, Pop, Boom
Friday, March 23   1-2:45 (2 sessions)  Free
Beaumont Elementary

Engineering is Fun:  Converting Ideas into Reality
Friday, March 23 2-5:30pm   Free
Qualcomm Campus

And the culminating event:  Expo Day at Petco Park

Science Festival, March 24th
Saturday, March 24   10am-5pm  All ages, Free
A full day of free science and technology activities for the whole family.

Donna Ross is associate professor of science education at San Diego State University and is CSTA’s 4-year college director.

Written by Donna Ross

Donna Ross is Associate Professor of Science Education at San Diego State University.

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Peter AHearn

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From time to time CSTA receives contributions from guest contributors. The opinions and views expressed by these contributors are not necessarily those of CSTA. By publishing these articles CSTA does not make any endorsements or statements of support of the author or their contribution, either explicit or implicit. All links to outside sources are subject to CSTA’s Disclaimer Policy: http://www.classroomscience.org/disclaimer.