What happens when you put Google, Solar One, the Museum of Math and 25+ Community School District 5 schools all in one room at one time? As children and parents will learn, the combination creates over 100 hands-on activities to stimulate both logic and creativity. On Saturday, May 21st, the Morningside Area Alliance (MAA) and Manhattan’s Community School District 5 (CD5), will bring the best of New York City’s science, technology, engineering and math organizations, brands, and professionals to run activity stations alongside Harlem public school students. SuperSaturday! STEMExpo will feature experiments, interactive demonstrations, a Lego robotics exhibition, chess tournament, math Olympiad, and pre-school aged read-aloud from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the Harlem Armory located at 1 West 142nd St., between Lenox Avenue and 5th Avenue.
And that’s just a sampling of the activities planned around the 100+ booths at the one-day event. On May 21st, the Harlem Armory will turn into a gigantic, public laboratory space where STEM experts and novices hypothesize, investigate, and collaborate. With so much to choose from, the event is like a candy store for enthusiasts. The only prerequisite: Curiosity.
While the U.S. is often criticized for falling behind other countries in creating new, highly-skilled scientists and innovators, Ann McIver, Executive Director of Morningside Area Alliance, sees Super Saturday! as one of the more successful ways to expose children and families to STEM fields, and to demonstrate the role community members can play. “For each student and family that experiences STEM in action, more young people move toward a better understanding of science, technology, engineering and math in daily life and the potential for careers in these fields.”
Well-known institutions will be present, such as the American Museum of Natural History, New York Public Library, Kumon Math & Reading, as well as burgeoning entities like hack/change, Dazzling Discoveries, and Science Makers. Also involved at the Super Saturday! STEM Expo are MAA member institutions, such as Teachers College, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Columbia University and Bank Street College.
With an understanding for early childhood development, Bank Street College’s Head Start West Program will run activities especially designed for pre-school aged children. John Jay College of Criminal Justice faculty will share forensics knowledge. Students from public schools in CSD 5 will exhibit their STEM projects, and act as docents to engage children and adults. Frederick Douglass Academy I (FDA I) will present robots that middle and high school students have built and programmed. Event attendees will have the chance to take part in an on-site Lego Robotics competition, as well as, participate in an all-ages chess tournament directed by Barnard College’s STEP Program.
“The STEM Expo provides our schools with an opportunity to showcase the rigorous projects, talents and aptitude of our students. [Each year] the event is engaging for all participants,” stated District Five Superintendent Gale Reeves. “I am also most appreciative of the support of Morningside Area Alliance, Harlem Children’s Zone, Abyssinian Development Corporation and all partnering organizations which are supporting this event.”
MAA has produced Super Saturday! since 2008. Volunteers from New York Cares, the largest volunteer organization in the area, help staff the event.
Visit Morningside Alliance for information about chess tournament and math olympiad registration and for a list of participating sponsors and partners.