Child-friendly science and tech fair at Hampton U. conference

By Jirah Cosey

Even kids participated this year, learning how science explains the culture of our world.

This year's Conference on the Black Family at Hampton University encouraged families alike to venture into various STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] career fields.

Normally the conference consists of various panels that favor adults. This year's conference took a different twist by aiming to affect the minds of children as well. One of the panelist slots turned into a science fair for kids across the Hampton Roads area, a forum titled the "Phantastic Voyage," located in the student center ballroom, consisted of numerous stations that showcased different components of science.

Stations ranged from showing different aspects of the brain to teaching children how to make slime. Kids stared in amazement as HU atmospheric science Ph.D. student Ryan M. McCabe used a visual demonstration to show how a hurricane is formed.

"The best way to learn is to ask questions," said McCabe about the importance of science. "By learning these, kids can make critical advancements in human society."

Every station gave kids a different view on learning about science, which made many of the visitors more intrigued. The children were ushered to each station by Hampton University science majors, and the students were inquisitive throughout the experience.

Gabriel Carter, an elementary school student, said, "I love building things that don't originally work and make them into something that does. I think that's pretty cool."

This year's Conference on the Black Family tackled the unknowns about STEM fields and aimed to meet its goal through every panel and discussion. The conference began Wednesday night and continued through Friday.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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