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Solana Beach School District students showcase their STREAM skills at Discovery Fest

Saja M. and Nile M.
Saja M. and Nile M. have fun with one of the hands-on activities at this year’s Discovery Fest, held May 7 at Solana Pacific School.
(Courtesy of SBSD)

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Solana Beach School District community came together May 7 for Discovery Fest, a fun-filled day of festivities and STREAM-based learning activities for all.

Held at Solana Pacific School, Discovery Fest offered learners of all ages a variety of ways to experience a taste of the science, technology, research, engineering, arts and mathematics (STREAM) skills students gain through SBSD Discovery Lab classes and explore the theme, “Can You Dig It: All Things Prehistoric.”

Discovery Fest is hosted by the Solana Beach School District (SBSD) in partnership with the Solana Beach Schools Foundation (SBSF). More than 1,500 people attended this year’s event, including 900 students.

“Discovery Fest is an excellent opportunity for our students to showcase the STREAM knowledge they acquire through regular Discover Lab lessons, and share the experience with their families and the community,” Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger said in a news release. “We are delighted that our partnership with the Solana Beach Schools Foundation supports these critical skills and empowers learners to find their voice, share their gifts and advance the world.”

Students combine science and art learning with a crystal drawing activity at this years Discovery Fest.
Students combine science and art learning with a crystal drawing activity at this years Discovery Fest.
(Courtesy of SBSD)

Students demonstrated their knowledge with TED Talk-style presentations delivered from the Discovery Fest main stage, and a judged engineering challenge had competitors scrambling to construct a device to help a paleontologist, geologist, or gemologist do their work.

Jiya A., Shoshana G., and Serena M. of Solana Highlands School, and Kumar A., Adam L., and Eric M. of Solana Pacific School, shared first place honors for their winning entries in the engineering competition. Board President Vicki King, Board Member Dana King, Superintendent Jodee Brentlinger, SBSF President Kim Criscuolo, and Jessie McConville, associate director of marketing with Scientist.com, sat on the judging panel.

Students check out the San Diego County Parks and Recreation exhibit
Students check out the San Diego County Parks and Recreation exhibit of native animals, which included a live meet-and-greet with a harmless snake, at Discovery Fest.
(Courtesy of SBSD)

Dozens of hands-on activities at Discovery Lab stations offered children and families learning opportunities that allowed them to step into the shoes of an engineer to build robots and write code; put on their archeologist’s hat and dig for fossils using an augmented reality (AR) sandbox; tap into their artistic talents to draw and paint a watercolor resist ammonite — a prehistoric ocean dweller similar to the nautilus — and much more.

Booths hosted by event sponsors and community partners featured STREAM-based education. San Diego County Parks and Recreation exhibited a native animals display and treated attendees to a live meet-and-greet with a harmless snake; the Fleet Science Center sparked curiosity with a fun engineering project building a spoon catapult; and Ting and San Diego LabRats teamed up to bring the STEAM Discovery Center where learners experimented with changes to atmospheric pressure.


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