SIGNAL FILE PHOTO: Some 400 students participate in the STEM Expo at Oak Hills Elementary School in Stevenson Ranch on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Oak Hills Educational Foundation and Oak Hills PTA hosted the event. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Oak Hills Elementary invites students, families to 2019 STEM Expo

After months of brainstorming and problem solving, the K-6 students of Oak Hills Elementary are prepared to showcase their engineering and science projects at the 2019 STEM Expo on Friday.

Annually co-hosted by the Oak Hills PTA and Oak Hills Educational Foundation, the weeklong science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) expo features families having the opportunity to view the various robots, computer programs and scientific experiments students have worked on since the beginning of the school year.

“We had a 3rd grader this year who said she didn’t like picking up Legos (after playing with them,” said Tania Cohen, a parent-organizer with a doctorate in microbiology. “So she designed a vacuum that could pick up her Legos and then sort them.”

Cohen, who also helps the students with their concepts and designs beginning each October, said that more than 150 Oak Hills students in grades K-6 performed background research, executed a project, and then presented their work in the form of a poster.

According to Oak Hills Principal Wendy Maxwell, students from each grade are then honored with first-, second- and third-place awards, and honorable mentions, in two categories: Traditional science project and/or engineering. They’re also given an opportunity to advance on to the county science fair being held later this year.

“The benefits of the STEM Expo are boundless,” Maxwell said. “It provides a forum for students to explore, investigate, create, wonder and share their passion and love for science and math.”

Last year, five sixth graders were sent on to the Los Angeles County Science Fair, two of whom received honorable mentions. Officials hope that this year will follow in the successes of previous ones.

“Every year we look forward to this event and have incorporated some fun traditions such as a slide show that features engaging science instruction here at Oak Hills and, of course, The Atoms Family sing-along,” Maxwell said.

The Oak Hills STEM Expo is scheduled to take place in the school’s multi-purpose room from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dessert will be available for purchase while friends, parents and teachers are welcome to view the posters.

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