As a first year at UCSB in my second quarter the tedious work that consumed the sunshine of my days and sleep of my nights had begun to pull me into the depths of some gloomy state of mind. I was too busy banging my head against the hard covered textbooks of my chemistry and math classes and lost sight of why I even liked science in the first place. One very early morning I was reminded once again. The beauty of STEM is that it is applicable to our lives today. There is nothing that you would learn that you could not find useful today. And most importantly I was reminded that it is FUN. Watching the younger students apply their knowledge and creativity to the egg drop contraptions and cheer for their surviving eggs was one of many fun activities during lunch. Although I worked at the volunteer table for most of the day I had the opportunity to escort an enthusiastic group of high schoolers to their mousetrap competition. I was impressed that although all the competitors were instructed to create the same thing the mouse car traps were all their own unique models. Although my duty was only to escort them I found myself drawn into the competition as the groups worked intensively to readjust their models. I only wish I had the same opportunity as they did to compete and attend workshops when I was in Junior High and High School.
I think that the S and T Day was a success because it was not only a day for scientific events but also a day to socialize with peers and enjoy doing the work together. Also, everybody seemed to have enjoyed themselves doing activities that were not only fun, but beneficial to the expansion of their knowledge. I look forward to seeing these MESA groups as well as non-MESA groups again next time around and hope the students were inspired to go hard in the paint for the next big step, COLLEGE =). I am glad to have been a part of an event with such a solid goal for its participants.