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Santa Monica College Celebrates Earth Week with STEM Festival


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By Lookout Staff

April 12, 2018 -- Santa Monica College this month will offer live demos, hands-on experiments and workshops at a STEM Festival celebrating Earth Week.

The free event takes place Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the college cafeteria on the ground floor of the Cayton Center on the school's Main Campus, 1900 Pico Boulevard.

SMC’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) faculty and students will welcome community members, students, and families to what promises to be "a day of learning," event organizers said.

SMC STEM Festival poster

“We promise it will be fun!” said SMC Associate Professor of Chemistry Jennifer Hsieh, one of the festival’s organizers.

The live demos and experiments include "learning about iron composition in iron-fortified cereals -- and extracting iron using strong, rare earth magnets," organizers said.

It also teaches participants how to extract genomic DNA from strawberries and perform chromatography to separate the colored pigments in a permanent marker.

The session also will teach the principles of gravity and physics by "launching water-soaked foam balls using a gigantic slingshot," among other demonstrations.

The event includes coding workshop and an “Integral Bee” where participants can watch SMC students and professors "battle it out on the whiteboard, solving calculus integrals for prizes,"

An SMC Chemistry professor will exhibit and discuss "a fully functional cell that SMC students built" as part of a hydrogen fuel cell demo, organizers said.

SMC is home to a growing STEM program initially funded by a five-year $5.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2011.

In 2016, the school received a nearly $6 million federal grant to expand STEM opportunities for Hispanic and low-income students ("Santa Monica College Awarded $6 Million Grant to Expand STEM Program," October 6, 2016).

Last year, SMC was chosen to partner with UCLA in a pilot four-year program that prepares future teachers in math and science ("Santa Monica College to Partner with UCLA in New STEM Program," February 8, 2017).

To attend the STEM Festival RSVP at

The college cafeteria is accessed via the Pearl Street entrance (parking lots 1 and 5 are closest). See for a detailed map of the SMC Main Campus.

For more information on the STEM Festival, contact Jennifer Hsieh at or call 310-434-4887.


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