iLead to host Innovation Expo at COC

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Santa Clarita Valley residents are invited to College of the Canyons on Friday for a space and innovation exposition, featuring student aerospace projects, keynote speakers and other interactive opportunities.

“Mission 2019 – DreamUp to Space,” is iLEAD’s second annual innovation expo and will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at College of the Canyons’ Valencia Campus.

The expo is presented in partnership with College of the Canyons Makerspace and DreamUp, a company that seeks to provide space-based education to students and entrepreneurs, according to iLEAD officials.

The expo is free to the public and will begin in the East Gymnasium with highlights from the Mission 2018 launch team, who recently returned from observing the launch of their experiment aboard the SpaceX 16 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to spokesman Dave Cieslak.

Al Bowers, a chief scientist at NASA Armstrong, will also present at the expo, Cieslak said, adding, “Students from iLEAD campuses across Los Angeles County —including Santa Clarita, Lancaster and Antelope Valley — will then present their ideas for space experiments that could be sent to the International Space Station.”

In addition to the student and professional speakers, the expo will feature a showcase of mission patch artwork and innovations in the makerspace, school officials said. The event will also offer interactive, hands-on opportunities, such as space art, LED rotocopters, flight simulators, laser-printed badges and a pop-up planetarium.

The expo underscores iLEAD’s commitment to engage students in project-based learning to further their understanding of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematical concepts, according to Kathleen Fredette, director of STEAM Initiatives for iLEAD Schools.

“At iLEAD Schools, we’re committed to giving our students the tools to investigate, explore and respond to complex, real-life questions,” Fredette said. “Our Space & Innovation Expo culminates a semester’s worth of project-based inquiry across all of our iLEAD school sites, and we look forward to welcoming students and families from all over Los Angeles County to this incredible event.”

To register, visit

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