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A Celebration of Ingenuity: Fall STEM Showcase

Veronica Miller

Veronica Miller

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Near the end of every quarter, the STEM center organizes a gathering for Foothill students to showcase their projects from various fields — mathematics, chemistry, physics, artificial intelligence, and computer science. This fall, the 8th quarterly showcase event was held on December 8 in the STEM center.

While some students eagerly set up their posters prepared to present their hard work and innovation, other students were in the general area waiting to explore what ideas their Foothill peers had to offer — queuing up for entry and to collect a complementary slice of pizza provided by the STEM center.

According to Eric Reed, the Physical Sciences, Mathematics & Engineering (PSME) center director, “[the STEM showcase is] a fun way to end the quarter and is also an opportunity for students to show off their projects they’ve been working on in the past quarter. Sometimes we have clubs, like the AI club, and sometimes we have students who bring in their hobbies.”

With such a wide interest base, it may not be surprising the number of STEM students that attend the quarterly STEM showcase and use it as a platform to exhibit their talents or to gain inspiration for their own projects.

“It’s kind of interesting. We don’t learn this in class,” Yanru, a STEM student attending the event, explains, “It’s more like an amplification of the stuff you learn in class.”

A huge part of this social event is to cater to the Foothill PSME community, not only giving them a relaxing, free and easy atmosphere to discuss and peruse over their topics of interests, it keeps them motivated to pursue their long term goals in their respective fields. Both of which are hugely beneficial to relieve stress from finals in the oncoming week. The participants themselves take the initiative to plan things out themselves — there is no need to register. What results is a high level of enthusiasm from presenters.

“There isn’t much organization… everything just happens organically!” said Reed.

Bruce Swenson, the President of the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees, stopped by and took part in a game created by Foothill students Agnes and Yanqi.

When asked why he decided to check out the showcase, Swenson  said, “a long time ago, I taught mathematics here. And I wanted to come and see what they were doing here… We didn’t do this while I was here. And I think this [game] is a fantastic project. We have some very skilled and talented students, and I guess we have an outstanding tutor too… I think this is a fantastic event.”Veronica Miller

 

According to Sarah Parikh, an Engineering and Physics instructor who helped organize the showcase, the best part of the STEM showcase is that the event is interdisciplinary.

“It is a chance for you to see what students are doing in other classes,” Parikh said. “So if there is a class you haven’t taken yet, you can come find out what are the types of projects you will do in that class.”

The STEM center will have another STEM showcase near the close of Winter quarter. STEM students who are interested in upcoming events at the STEM center can stay informed by following their facebook page.

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