SWOCC release – COOS BAY, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College invites students entering grades 8-12 to join in a day of fun and experiments at its first-ever STEAM Academy on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. The hands-on, interactive event pairs students with professors to explore activities in science, technology, engineering, art and math. The academy is free and includes lunch. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Southwestern’s Coos Bay campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., in Coaledo Hall. Families can drop off their teens at 7:30. Students will work with instructors including Dr. Mike Springer who will lead the chemistry component of the academy, where students will learn about atoms, molecules, and chemical reactivity. Students also will conduct a laboratory experiment to learn about the different types of chemical reactions. During this activity, students will mix chemicals, observe chemical reactions, and record their observations. Using their notes and powers of perception, they will then attempt to identify an unknown compound! They will about data analysis and sharpen their critical thinking skills. Biology and human sciences instructor Mia Bryan will lead exploration into physiology. What is equilibrium? How do we balance our bodies, coordinate our muscles, move and breathe every day and what happens when we throw that off? The student will be tricking their brains, eyes and lungs to learn more about the amazing abilities of bodies to keep us healthy and happy without people even needing to think about it. Dr. Aaron Coyner, who’s also a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador, will lead the physics, astronomy and engineering activities. Under his guidance, students will investigate engineering problem solving and invention through a design thinking exercise. They will take time in astronomy to explore humanity’s place in the universe, and in physics, students will discuss the principles behind alternative energy methods. Students of all abilities and interests are encouraged to attend. For information or to register a student for the free Summer Steam Academy, call 541.888.7369 or email sbrandt@socc.edu.