It is increasingly important to teach Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) at a young age in order to foster engagement during the critical developmental stage when students are naturally curious. This is why the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) continues to host the annual Science Expo for North and South shore students and their families; bringing a San Francisco “Exploratorium” experience to those students who may not have an opportunity to experience it otherwise.
Science Expo’s 2018 theme was Life Science and Health. TERC staff and volunteers facilitated over 30 hands-on science activities that highlighted organisms and ecosystems, inheritance and adaptations, and health and nutrition. Students from the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District and Washoe County School District attended the North Tahoe Science Expo from March 12-15, 2018. Students from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District and Douglas County School District attended the South Lake Tahoe Science Expo during the week of April 3-6, 2018. Both Science Expos also included a free evening program open to the public for visitors of all ages.
In 8 days, the TERC Science Expo reached more than 2,100 students from 17 schools and 80 different classes around the Tahoe basin. More than 170 volunteers donated their time to share science activities with the elementary students. Teachers, parents, and volunteers gave incredibly positive reviews, and many teachers plan to implement life science extensions in their classroom.