MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Adults and children of all ages crowded into the Hommocks Middle School East Foyer earlier this month just to watch a golf ball drop.
That ball set off a 66-foot chain reaction traversing pulleys, rolling through tunnels and even taking a ride on a small-scale Ferris wheel.
Eleven teams engineered individual segments of the enormous Rube Goldberg machine, then joined them together at the May 14 STEM-tastic Festival.
The Chain Reaction challenge was just one part of the six-hour STEM-tastic festival, comprised of over sixty workshops, activities and demonstrations designed to give attendees hands-on experiences with science, technology, engineering, math and even art.
The back lawn overflowed with nature experiences, live animals and beach physics while engineering, computer coding, robotics and astronomy adventures took place inside.
The gymnasium alone housed enough projects to captivate festival visitors from the moment they entered the building. A team of scientists from Regeneron explained biology while teaching kids how to extract DNA from strawberries at their Discovery Zone.
Despite the challenging nature of molecular biology, elementary school students and their parents alike asked questions and learned the basics of DNA with the joyful assistance of the Regeneron experts.
A PepsiCo team taught attendees how to create their own individualized beverages by measuring and calculating appealing combinations of flavors and colors.
Nearby, the Girls Scouts lead a marble run demonstrating the laws of physics while Jupiter Joe, a local astronomer, taught kids about astronomer, taught kids about the Universe.
“This is truly organic learning. The kids are here because they want to be. What an exceptional learning event,” said Hommocks Assistant Principal Rob Andrews.
In his keynote address, inventor and artist Bob Partington challenged the audience to embrace failure as a milestone on the path to success.
Partington shared behind-the-scenes video footage of his large-scale creative engineering endeavors for music videos and TV shows. He revealed the complexity of his work as well as his struggles. The day ended with a full bubble performance by Jeff Boyer.