Welcome to the AV STEM Center Blog

This blog will provide information about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics efforts within the Antelope Valley, as well as links to helpful STEM sites and info from beyond. Check back periodically for updates.

Connect a Million Minds Tagline

Connect a Million Minds Tagline

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Plutopalooza Scheduled for Thursday Night on the Square 7/16/15

Join Dr. Dana Backman, NASA's SOFIA Outreach Director, at "Plutopalooza" on Thursday, 16 July 2015, at Poncitlan Square in Palmdale.  Solar system-themed hands-on activities and a special presentation will be made on "SOFIA:  Chasing Pluto's Shadow."  Presentations are at 6:00pm and 6:45pm.  Poncitlan Square is located at the City of Palmdale Civic Center.  For further information about TNOTS, visit:  Thursday Night On the Square .  For additional information about NASA/AERO Institute programs, go to:  AERO Institute Palmdale .

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hacienda Elementary School Wins 2015 Mojave Intermediate Space Challenge

Congratulations to Cal City's Hacienda Elementary School students who placed first overall in the 2015 Intermediate Space Challenge at the Mojave Air and Spaceport on 15 May 2015.

View video of the day at 2015 Mojave Intermediate Space Challenge .

Monday, April 13, 2015

Journey to Mars Workshop Scheduled 5/2/15

Are you ready to go on a Journey to Mars? Join NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Oce of Education for an educator professional development workshop on Rocketry. Through hands-­on experiments and physical demonstrations, educators will select a mission and learn how to design and construct a high-­powered paper rocket that will achieve the mission. Engage in hands-­on, standards-­aligned mathematics, science and engineering activities as you construct a rocket, predict its performance and its chance of mission success, fly the rocket, and file a post-­ight mission report. Missions include achieving high-­ altitude records, landing on a “planetary” target, carrying payloads, testing a rocket recovery system, and more. Instructions are provided for dierent paper rocket construction techniques. Learn about real world connections with NASA research and our Journey to Mars. 
 WHEN:  Saturday, May 2, 2015, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

 Target Audience: K-­2 Formal and Informal Educators

 Location: NASA Armstrong Educator Resource Center at the AERO Institute, 38256 Sierra Hwy., Palmdale, CA 93550

 Register Online: aeroi.org/ercRegister/index.html   
 Questions? Call Sondra Geddes at 661-­276-­2359 or email at sondra.l.geddes@nasa.gov

 There is no  charge  for  the  workshop.  Free NASA educational materials  will  be provided.  Seats are limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

NASA Hubble Telescope Event Planned for 4/23/15

To commemorate this quarter century of success in engineering, science and culture, NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center Office of Education will host an educator workshop to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. Since its launch, Hubble has allowed astronomers to observe the universe in stunning clarity, revealed properties of space and time, and shed light on many of the great mysteries of the universe making conjectures certainties. Learn about NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft that also explores the universe with an onboard infrared telescope. Educators will interact with subject matter experts and make connections between Hubble and SOFIA as well as enjoy a tour of the SOFIA aircraft at Hangar 703 in Palmdale.
 When:  Thursday, April 23, 2015, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm, Pacific

Eligibility: US Citizens who are K-12 Educators (Formal, Informal, Pre-service)
Location: NASA Armstrong Hangar 703, 2825 East Ave P, Palmdale, CA 93550

Registration: 1) Apply at aeroi.org/ercForm/index.html ; 2) Submit Personal Information for Visitor Request and Hangar Access:  -Full Name; -Email address; -Country of Citizenship; -Date of Birth; -Place of Birth (City, State); -Driver's license number and state of issue’ -Last six digits only of your social security number.
Questions: Call Barbie Buckner at 661-276-2966 or email barbie.buckner@nasa.gov

 There is no charge for the workshop. Free NASA educational materials will be provided. Space is limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Northrop Grumman Fab School Lab Contest Open 5/4/15

Northrop Grumman Foundation is launching an online contest to encourage STEM innovation through updated labs in middle schools.  The "Fab School Labs" competition is open from 4 May through 28 August 2015, and will offer 5 grants of up to $100,000 to update science, technology, or engineering spaces.  Teachers in eligible public middle or charter schools (grades 5-8) may apply with a video and essay, one per contestant per school site.  Communities will vote for 25 selected finalists to determine grant winners.  For more information on eligibility, rules, etc., visit Northrop Fab School Labs Rules .

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Antelope Valley AIAA to Host Career Night 4/23/15 at AVC

The Antelope Valley Chapter of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) is hosting a Career Night for students from 8th grade to college and their parents in celebration of National Engineering Week.  The event will be held on 23 April 2015, from 6:00-7:30pm in the Board Room (SSV151) at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster.  A panel discussion of what engineers do will be featured, along with FREE PIZZA!

For more information, visit AV AIAA Facebook or email aiaa.av@gmail.com .

MEEC "Slow Your Flow of H20" Video Contest Submissions Due by 5/5/15

With the Governor's new announced water restrictions due to California's drought, this contest is particularly timely.

The Mojave Water Agency invites you to take part in the “Slow Your Flow of H2O” water conservation video contest!  Students in grades 3-12 can create a 30-second to one minute video demonstrating the unique ways they are taking their water conservation techniques to the next level in and around their homes.   

When it comes to conserving water, even the smallest adjustments can have a big impact.  Taking shorter showers and watering your lawn less often are effective ways to reduce our water footprint, but what else can you do to conserve water? 

There are THREE Prize categories:  Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; Grades 9-12.   First, second, and third place winners will be awarded in each category.  All awards are gift cards.

First place winners will receive $150, second place $75, and third place will receive $50.

  • Create an innovative 30-second to one minute video promoting water conservation.
  • Videos may be submitted as a DVD/CD, SchoolTube/YouTube/PowToon link,  or Media File.
  • Your video will be judged on uniqueness, creativity and the best portrayal of how you conserve water indoors or outdoors.   Additional Judging Criteria: Does your video encourage others to conserve water? Is it entertaining? Does is demonstrate how you are conserving water?  Providing a “title” for your video is optional.
  • Video links  and Media Files may be emailed to  smurray@mdaqmd.ca.gov
  • DVD/CD entries may be mailed or hand delivered to: MEEC, 14306 Park Ave, Victorville, CA 92392
  • Individual entries only.  Each entry must contain the student’s name, grade, school and contact phone number to be considered.
  • Deadline for submission is May 5, 2015 at 5:00 PM.
  • Winners will be notified by phone and invited to attend the Red Carpet Award Ceremony presentation on May 21, 2015 at The Mojave Water Agency.
For further information, please call Samantha Murray, at: (760) 245-1661 ext. 6717 or visit Meec/MWA Slow Your Flow of H20 Video Contest
All submissions become the property of MEEC and The Mojave Water Agency

MEEC Environmental/Engineering Scholarship Available for Graduating HS Seniors - Applications Due by 4/3/15

Calling all graduating high school seniors! $2000 Scholarship Opportunity!

The Mojave Environmental Education Consortium is pleased to announce its 2014/2015 Environmental/Science Scholarship Program. MEEC will be awarding five $2000 scholarships to qualifying applicants for the 2014/2015 academic year. Graduating high school seniors attending high school within MEEC’s boundaries are encouraged to apply.

MEEC’s boundaries consist of the High Desert portion of San BernardinoCounty, the Palo Verde Valley of Riverside County and the High Desert region of North Los Angeles County, including the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale.

Eligible students must declare a major in Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, or other closely related Science or Engineering field.

Applicants are required to provide the following:
1. A completed application form (available at
MEEC Environmental/Engineering Scholarship 2015 )
2. Transcripts and SAT/ACT scores (unofficial copies accepted)
3. 500 word personal essay on – “My Career Goals and Why I would like a Career in the Environment, Science, or Engineering field ”
4. Application packages must be received no later than 5 PM, on April 3, 2015. Applicant packet may be mailed or dropped off at:

MEEC – ATTN: Scholarship Committee
14306 Park Ave, Victorville, CA 92392

Applications may also be faxed to (760) 241-6271 or emailed to Samantha Murray, MEEC Program Specialist at smurray@mdaqmd.ca.gov

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Young Women Take Part in Third AV STEM Conference

Over 100 young women from regional middle and high schools, along with approximately 50 of their parents, took part in the third annual STEM Conference for Girls on 14 March 2015 at the AVUHSD Palmdale Conference Center.  The day's activities began with an industry panel presentation MC'd by Krysti Papadopolous from XCOR and panelists Shana Blakley from Rio Tinto, Arielle Duen from Northrop Grumman, Ana Esquivel from the AVC STEM Club, Latosha Imani from Lockheed Martin, and Christos Valiotis from AVC. 

Each girl participated in two hands-on workshop sessions, ranging from the body's use of calories and the medical use of robots, to making solar cell-phone chargers and catapults, among others.

Parents also participated in a hands-on activity on hydrolysis facilitated by students from Palmdale High School, as well as financial aid planning, STEM programs and activities, and presentations from local post-secondary institutions.

The day was capped off with a motivational presentation by renowned speaker JJ DiGeronimo from Tech Savvy Women from Cleveland, Ohio, and Pi Day fun and games.

PHS Students Explain Activity to Parents

Testing solar cellphone charger

Distance test on catapult

Preparing experiment on body's use of calories

Chevron/USC Viterbi School of Engineering Summer Camp Applications Due by 4/10/15

Chevron will be selecting 20 outstanding high school students (rising juniors and rising seniors are eligible to apply) from across the U.S. to attend the Chevron sponsored summer educational camp, "Frontiers of Energy Resources", hosted at the University of Southern California July 5 - 10, 2015.
The Frontiers of Energy Resources Summer Camp offers a preparatory, interactive training program focusing on various energy resources including fossil fuels, solar, biofuels, nuclear energy, and information technologies for energy efficient operations. This unique program is designed to introduce exceptional high school juniors and as many as 5 high school science or math teachers to the opportunities and career possibilities available in the global energy resources industry.
Students must submit a sealed teacher recommendation, upload an unofficial transcript, and compose a statement of purpose with their application. Teachers are required to compose a statement of purpose with their application. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, April 10, 2015.
For more information and to download the application, visit Chevron/USC Frontiers of Energy Resources Summer Camp .