Festival of Science is a Joy
It was an energy charged event at the 2010 Sally Ride Science Festival as 950 children, primarily girls 5th through 8th grade, were awed by science, space exploration and the joy of socializing on a gorgeous Texas day at the 2010 Sally Ride Science Festival held at the University of Texas at Arlington campus on October 30. The festival was a great chance for the Trinity River Corridor Project to get out into the community and showcase some of the science, environmental and construction opportunities happening along the Trinity River.
According to the Sally Ride Science organizers, this young age group is a pivotal time to reach girls and encourage them to continue to pursue the science field. Attendees were treated to science exhibitions, hands-on activities, and a street fair featuring various educational and entertainment displays.
Event-goers also got the opportunity to listen to retired NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan speak about her experiences in space. She gave vivid descriptions of boundless stars, the freedom of weightlessness, and the physical experience of shuttle take-off.
(left to right) Karen (Bear) Ride, sister of Sally Ride, the first female astronaut to go into space, is joined at the podium by Barbara Morgan, who logged 305 hours abroad shuttle Endeavour’s STS-118 Assembly mission to the International Space Station August 2007. She also served on the flight deck of the shuttle during earth reentry and landing.
Astronaut Morgan captivated her young audience with striking details of her adventure such as the fact that the NASA Space Shuttle travels at 17,500 miles per hour and took the astronauts into space in eight minutes! Water floats into balls in space and can be drunk from a straw. The water will hold objects or food items such as M&M’s. Insert a straw into the ball of water, drink the water and the M&M’s float free leaving astronauts chasing candy as if swimming through water.
But the focus was not limited to the facets of the NASA program; the exhibits covered topics including biology and physics, energy and mathematics, as well as geology. The TRCP teamed with the Environmental Protection Agency to provide information about environmental sciences, as well as the Trinity River itself.
The EPA brought its mascot “Wayne-drop,” who encouraged the participants to take a pledge to conserve water. They also provided teachers with a curriculum for the “Waters to the Sea” program and helped engage them in water conservation and learning about the Trinity River Corridor Project and what it means to the Trinity River watershed and North Texas.
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