ACP Erie at the SciTech Festival

ACP Erie at the SciTech Festival

The Arizona SciTech Festival is a state-wide celebration of science, technology, engineering and math, where multitudes of exhibitions, workshops, and expos are held in various neighborhood throughout the state for people of all ages to experience the diversity and wonders of STEM. According to its website, its goal is to excite and inform Arizonans about how STEM has a major impact on our Arizona’s economy, as well as bring individuals together to spark interest and inspire the next generation of STEM members. In this festival, street fairs, displays, exhibitions, and opportunities for hands-on-experience are available for Arizonans to appreciate and participate in.

This year, many ACP students attended the SciTech Festival to represent our school through their research and experiments. During the festival, students highlighted the research Joe Fabien has currently been doing on honey bees and the effect of pesticides on bee health and showcased bee hives and other pests in their displays. In addition, the Erie Alchemists also created public awareness on the Anti-VOC campaign, which was led by Robby Glanville, Daniel Merritt, Brenda Zuzak, Eli Martin, and Askh Iyer.

As I was looking through the activities our students were involved in, the part on the Erie Alchemists’ members campaign against VOCs was what caught my attention. Intrigued, I decided to research VOCs and their effects to try and understand what it is about this topic that interests our students.

Through my research, I found out VOCs are volatile organ compounds that are, according to the EPA, emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids and include a variety of chemicals capable of causing both short-term and long-term adverse health effects. VOCs can be released from a wide variety of products, such as paints, varnishes, and wax and can persist in the air long after a person stops using the product.

After learning more about VOCs, I now know exactly why the presence of VOCs is concerning to some of our students. These compounds can pose a huge danger to health, and I am proud of our students for taking charge and raising awareness for an issue people might be unaware of.

Additionally, along with this campaign, ACP students participated in SciTech by also volunteering their time to man the booths at the festival. These individuals were Kayden Martinez, Samanatha Soto, and Maria Lopez.

I can only imagine how fun and informing the festival must have been and how many interesting exhibitions and displays were available there. Congratulations to our ACP students for not only attending the festival, but for participating in it as well, and we hope to see even more ACP students become involved in SciTech next year!