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Science and Math Expo Encourages Community Engagement

Last updated on May 2, 2019

By Allyson Oakley

The 18th annual Science and Math Expo is April 4 from 2:30-6 p.m., inside and around the Wallace Health Sciences Building. The event is free event and open to the community.

Volunteer State Community College is hosting The Parris Powers Science and Math Expo in with hands-on activities and projects for kids.
Some groups who will be at the Expo: The Sumner County Master Gardeners and The Cumberland Astronomical Society.

Also, a mobile planetarium from Vanderbilt University will be set up in Vol State’s gymnasium.

Magnetic slime demonstrated at Science Expo
Magnetic slime demonstrated at Science Expo

Dr. Billy Dye, assistant biology professor, explained how important it is to engage the community.

This event also influences students by encouraging them to do their own critical thinking in order to present their project.

Dye says, “I think it’s very important for the college as a face to the community, to try to engage other students in science every opportunity we have. It’s geared mostly toward elementary and middle school students.”

Dye also says, “It’s good not only for the visitors that we have and their experience, but it’s good for our students to have an opportunity to practice presentation skills and to use the learning that they have in a very hands-on way. I think they end up learning a little more than they intended by doing background research. So, it’s a good learning opportunity for our own students.”

Vol State students design and carryout most of the activities that will be displayed throughout the event.

In an email from Erin Bloom, assistant professor of biology, “Some VSCC students present their own ideas and activities. There are so many great ideas available to them, that some use inspiration from things they’ve done in their classes, or from things they’ve seen online and on TV.” Bloom went on to say that, “Typically more than 100 VSCC students participate in the Expo – some help set up or break down the event, others are presenting.”

The Parris Powers Science and Math Expo is named after Professor Powers who maintained and oversaw the event for many years until died in 2016.

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