Thursday, April 17, 2014

Imaginology: A Day at the 2014 Youth Expo w/ S.T.E.A.M. | #GuestPost #Science

On Saturday, April 12, 2014, I was invited to the OC Fair and Event Center for “Imaginology,
Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead,” with my family. This event was formally called the “Youth Expo,” but still encompasses the idea of learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math in a hands-on or kinesthetic environment. There were a variety of activities, for all ages to enjoy and participate in. My visit primarily focused on the “makeshops,” or hands-on activities, the Centennial Farm, free entertainment and amusements.

For myself, I found the hands-on activities to be the most engaging for my
son and daughter, who are 7 and 4, respectively. If it wasn’t for these opportunities
my children would have been bored. One of the first activities we participated in
was the making of a simplified Venetian mask, which my son was able to create his
own color pattern. Next, we found a wood-carving booth, where my son was able to
emulate the carving of wood with a piece of soap and plastic utensils. He made a
boat which, he was able to take home and float right away! The most engaging
activity my son found was at the Hedgehog Lacers booth. He learned in a few
minutes how to create a snake with bobbin lace thread. We returned to this many
times so he could add to the snake he had started.


On the more academic side, we found some engineering, science and math booths that were engaging for both children. MIND Research Institute was demonstrating their iPad programs for learning and remediating math skills using Common Core Standards learning strategies. Even my four year old was able to play and understand the math concepts being taught, which was shapes. We moved onto a demonstration of underwater robots made of PCV piping. Participants had to
mobilize their robots to pick up rings in a circular pool. We also made paper rockets that were launched from compressed air tubes. It was interesting to hear all the questions after launch of why certain rockets went further than others, and the children all had an explanation for why their rocket did what it did.


Moving outside to the Centennial Farm we learned about and were able to pet a variety of farm animals. They really had fun here, who doesn’t like to pet animals! We learned that pigs hair was used to make bristle brushes, and watched baby goats drink milk from their mothers. In this area we were also able to plant our own radish plants and take them home. The most fascinating exhibit was the “Great Egg-Scape,” where you watch the process of an egg hatching from start to finish. It was truly amazing to watch baby chicks poking there way out of their shells.


We also enjoyed the free and fee-for-use amusements. There was an inflatable park with jumpers and slides of all sizes, so all ages could enjoy. My son really enjoyed the Land and Water Bubbles, where he could scoot across a pool of water in a plastic bubble. My daughter absolutely loved the pony rides, she sat proudly on her horse, Shorty. Lastly, my children went through a giant maze


The food was awesome! There was the typical fair-type foods, corn dogs, cotton candy, fried donuts, pizza and soft drinks. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to sample three food trucks, Dogzilla, Calbi and Chunk ‘n Chip. I had delicious chicken tacos from Calbi, the kicker to these was the ginger soy dressing on the tacos. At Dogzilla my daughter enjoyed a regular hot dog, It was a ¼ pound all beef hot dog nestled in King’s Hawiaan bread. For desert we indulged at Chip ‘n Chunk, which features a variety of ice creams nestled between to warm and gooey cookies
of your choice, creating a sweet tooth heaven!

Christina is a mom of a 7 and  4 year old.  A school teacher in San Pedro of many years she loves teaching her children about the sciences and technology.  An avid I Love Lucy fan who has recently purchased a quad dirt-bike which she enjoys riding in the desert while camping.

DISCLAIMER:  We were given tickets to experience the Youth Expo and it's activities in exchange for writing about our experience.  All thoughts and ideas are our own.  Do not use any pictures without permission.

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