Science Day at Stanislaus State typically draws thousands of students to the university, but this year the annual event will look a bit different thanks to a virtual format.
The scientific extravaganza is in its 10th year and didn’t miss a beat in 2020, as the activity-filled day was held the weekend before COVID-19 shut down the nation. This Saturday, Stanislaus State will welcome participants to an interactive experience via the computer complete with hours of video content and live presentations.
Biological Sciences Professor Mark Grobner started Science Day a decade ago as a way to K-12 students to the subject and hopefully usher in the next generation of scientists. While the professors and college students who helped to make this year’s event possible will miss interacting with children in person, they worked hard to ensure the experience will still be beneficial — and exciting — for participants.
“Most of the activities are things where you can look around the house and find the materials you need,” Grobner said.
Grobner has hosted other science events for K-12 students throughout the pandemic, and noted that some participants have even sent back videos of them performing activities themselves after watching the experiments conducted virtually. The enthusiasm still shown by students despite the science events taking place virtually has made the effort put into making videos worth it, he said.
“All of us involved in this program are overly excited when we see things like that,” he said. “I don’t have words to express how happy everyone was to see that happen.”
This year’s Science Day will feature live, virtual events and pre-recorded video presentations. Participating students can learn how to make slim with the Warriors Chemistry Club, look through a telescope with Dr. Brian Morsony and even take a tour of the university’s greenhouse. Additionally, the pre-recorded videos will be available to watch long after Science Day is over.
The event is beneficial not only for Turlock’s younger students, but for its oldest as well. Stanislaus State students interested in the health and medical fields, as well as those studying to become teachers, glean useful experience from volunteering during Science Day.
With a shortage of science teachers in the Central Valley, it’s Grobner’s hope that more local youth will be inspired to pursue science as a career path and become more “science educated.”
“Getting people science educated is even more important today, and I think we’re seeing that need based on what’s been going on with COVID,” Grobner said.
Science Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, and is open only to attendees who register at https://www.csustan.edu/science/annual-science-day