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Mark your calendar for February 7, 2015 – STEM Exploration

Come and go anytime between 9am-4pm, we suggest you come early to get the best of STEM Exploration

STEM Exploration is a FREE event for all ages with a wide variety of engaging activities designed for K-12 students and their family.
Register online or at the door on February 7th (the new Registration is to help count the attendees).

Free one-day bus passes will be available for this event.  Call 258-2702 or email to request bus pass(es) no later than Tuesday, February 3rd.  Passes will be mailed to requestors.  Please indicate the number of passes needed.

  • Download a STEM Exploration flyer here
  • List of activities and map. Coming Soon
    Current Activities are tentative and may change.
    Activity locations (SUB, ENGR, MEC, HML, KIN, ERB )
  • Suggested Activities for Elementary School Ages. Coming Soon
  • Suggested Activities for Junior High and High School Ages. Coming Soon
  • 2015 Activity Descriptions. Coming Soon


  • FOOD is not provided.  Bring a sack lunch or plan on visiting the Student Union Building, or Broadway vendors for refreshments.
  • No registration required to attend STEM Exploration, but some scheduled activities require that you sign up at the activity location.
  • With more than 40 activities it’s impossible to do everything.
  • Please see the list of activities and plan your day in advance.
  • Four ways to participate:  Scheduled Activities (S); Drop-in (D), Open Demonstrations (O); Interactive Science Shows (I)

Scheduled Activities (S)

Scheduled activities have limited capacity and may require sign up to attend for specific times.  Come early to get signed up – sign up sheets at the activity location.   If you sign up, be there 5 minutes in advance to participate.  If you are not there you forfeit your spot.  Scheduled activities include:

  • New Angry Birds Catapult Design, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Ages 14-Adult, Jordan C – Capacity 40 (90 minutes: 9am, 11am, 1pm) –Design and build catapults to launch targets at Angry Birds.
  • Build and Eat an Edible Aquifer #1, Department of Environmental Quality – Ages 5-14, Room 215, Capacity 30 (45 minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) . Learn how ground water is stored in aquifers, how what we do can affect our groundwater and drinking water, and how good engineering helps keep our water clean.
  • Build and Eat an Edible Aquifer #2, United Water Idaho – Ages 5-14, Room 314, Capacity 30 (45 minutes: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm). Learn how ground water is stored in aquifers, how what we do can affect our groundwater and drinking water, and how good engineering helps keep our water clean.
  • Extreme Weather Science, NOAA/National Weather Service Ages 10-Adult, Room 313, Capacity 30, (45 Minutes: 9:30, 10:30,11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00) – Meteorologists will discuss the science of extreme weather in the context of a “Weather Jeopardy” game. Two teams will compete to be the Weather Jeopardy Champions and various scientific weather demonstrations will be conducted during the course of the game. In addition, weather safety information will be provided in a fun and interactive way.
  • Jelly Bean Binary, Micron Foundation – Ages 5-10, Room 335, Capacity 25, (30 Minutes: 9am, 9:45 am, 10:30am, 11:15am, 1pm, 1:45 pm, 2:30pm) - Learn the language of computers. Learn how the computer uses binary code and how to encode and decode with it. Then, using “1s”, “0s”, and jelly beans you will be able to write your name in binary code.
  • New CircuitScribe Valentine Cards, IEEE student organization, Ages 5-14, Room 309, Capacity 30
  • New Snap Circuits, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boise State University, Ages 10-Adult, Room 307, Capacity 30 (45 min: 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm)
  • New Taming the Dragon: Explore the aerodynamics of a dragon on a wall-sized display using supercomputers. Hands-on! Room 408, 10-11am, and 1-2pm
  • New 20K Ultra Resolution: Explore famous art and places around the world in incredible detail on a wall sized display, Room 408, 11-12noon, and 2-3pm
  • Exploring Explosive Eruptions with the Liquid Nitrogen Volcano Experiment,Boise State Geosciences, All Ages, Outside behind ERB, Capacity 50 (10 am, 11:30 am,1 pm, 2:30 pm)
  • Tie Dye Chromatography, Micron Foundation – Ages 5-14, Room 106, Capacity 50 (45 min: 9:30am, 10:30am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm) (S) – Use permanent markers to experiment with the concepts related to chromatography and color separation.

Drop-in (D)

These activities run throughout the day, and you can drop in any time.  Supplies are limited, first come first serve.  These include:

  • Discover Technology Bus, Discover Technology – Parked Outside, All Ages  – Enjoy a mobile discovery experience ranging from biotech to video game programming to robotic and even electronics and circuitry!
  • New Throw it! Blow it! Bow it! The Science of Ancient Projectiles, Boise State Anthropology, Jordan A 
  • New Where’s Your Head At? Pull-apart skulls show you how it all fits together, Boise State Anthropology, Jordan A 
  • New STEM Roller Coaster, 4 Teachers by Teachers, LLC, Ages 6-14, Jordan B 
  • New Build a Solar Cockroach Robot, Kuna High SchoolLimited Supplies: Ages 5-14, Hatch A  – Make, race and take home your own miniature robotic solar cockroach!
  • Build a NASA Heat Shield, Kuna High SchoolLimited Supplies: Ages 8-18, Hatch B  – Learn about thermal protection while building and testing a heat shield.
  • New Build Paper Rockets, Kuna High SchoolLimited Supplies: Ages 5-14, Barnwell  – Make, launch and take home your own Paper Rocket.
  • Ride a Segway, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Boise State – Ages 8-Adult, Hatch C  – Learn about the Segway, a self-balancing, personal transportation vehicle that uses computerized gyroscopes and tilt sensors to maintain balance and make riding fun!
  • Earthquake Table/ Hovercraft, Treasure Valley Math and Science Center – Ages 5-14, Hatch D
  • Jenga Jedi, AECOM – Ages 6-Adult, Boyington Room
  • Exploration of the Rock Cycle, Boise State Geology Club – All Ages, Brink Room
  • New An Introduction to Computer Science Using Scratch, Idaho Technology CouncilAges: 8 and up, younger (6+) with Adult assistance, Room 111, Capacity 25
  • Snow Plow Simulator, Idaho Transportation Department, Outside in the parking lot – Experience a super-charged video arcade game! Sit in what looks like the cab of a truck and operate machinery similar to a typical snowplow vehicle.
  • Beyond the Looking Glass: Seeing at the Nanoscale, Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Ages 10-Adult, Room 104
  • Bugs Under a Microscope! Boise State Materials Science & Engineering – Ages 8 – Adult, Room 108
  • New Energy for Society, Room 225
  • Programming with Blockly, Boise State ACM-W – Ages 8-Adult, Room 238
  • Design a bridge utilizing software, and test to see if it would succeed or fail. Participants can review the components of their bridge to make modifications and improvements.
  • Catapult Launch, Boise State Engineering Residential College – Ages 5-14, Room 114, 30 minutes  – Design and build a catapult using spoons, popsicle sticks, and tape. Test your design on a tower of cups!
  • Electrochemistry and Batteries Demonstration, Boise State Materials Science & Engr – Ages 14-Adult, Room 312
  • Avalanches, Fires, and Floods, OH MY!! McCall Outdoor Science School – Ages 6-14, Room 110  – Test your engineering skills by building structures to withstand these three forces of nature!!

Open Demonstrations (O)

These demonstrations are great for when you are waiting for a scheduled activity.  These are mostly located in the Kinesiology Building, Student Union Building, and the Civil Engineering Building.  You will also find several in the ENGR and MEC lobby’s, and open research laboratories appropriate for high school students and adults.

  • New Adaptation Exploration, Biological Sciences at Boise State 
  • New Robots, Structures & Other Thrills! PCS EdventuresLab, – Where your talent and passions intersect
  • Chemistry is Chool, Boise State Chemistry 
  • Amazing Math, Boise State Mathematics 
  • Science is Fun! Idaho National Laboratory 
  • Boise State Admissions – Get Started 
  • New Your Brain on Language, Linguistics Lab at Boise State University
  • New Space Broncos, Boise State STEM 
  • 15,000 Volt Demonstration, Idaho Power  – Designed to illustrate the properties of electricity. The demonstration will prove the theory that electricity always seeks the quickest path to earth.
  • What’s a Watt? Idaho Power  – Ride a bicycle that generates power. Feel the energy that powers a light bulb, a computer, and a television.
  • Control an Inspection Class Marine ROV, com  – Take live control of an Inspection Class Marine ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle). The ROV carries an onboard color video camera, two LED light pods, two forward / reverse thrusters and a single vertical thruster to dive and surface the vehicle.
  • New Design and Build a Modular Marble Run, Hewlett Packard 
  • Radio Demonstration, HP Amateur Radio Club  – It’s not your father’s Amateur Radio! We cover the world and even space with voice, data and images…. Learn how much you depend on radio and may not even know it.  At the top of each hour participate in hands on experiments that illustrate the magic of how radio works.
  • Seatbelt Demonstration, Federal Highway Administration  – Live demonstration that will help Idahoans make better Snap Decisions about whether to wear or not wear a seatbelt.
  • Driving Simulator, Idaho State Police, Ages 14-Adult  – Live demonstration with a computer based driving simulator. See how driving distracted or impaired affects your driving.
  • Robots in Action, Treasure Valley FRC Teams: The Bullbots, NaSkCo Scorpions, Team Taters, and V.E.R.N.  – Learn about these exciting programs and competitions for students from kindergarten through and high school!
  • New Pinewood Derby Track, Oregon Trails
  • The Bullbots, Treasure Valley Robotics Teams 
  • Making Waves with LIGO, LIGO Hanford Observatory  – Experiment with sound waves, mechanical waves and light waves. Learn about LIGO’s search for gravitational waves from outer space.
  • Robots and Land Rovers, The Boise Robotics Group (BoRG)  – Learn how the BoRG makes and programs their robots and how you can do the same.
  •  High Altitude Balloons, NearSys  – NearSys- What can you do with $150 worth of balloon and helium? You can send experiments into near space!  While conducting experiments in atmospheric and cosmic ray studies, remote sensing of the Earth’s surface, radio wave propagation, and astronomical and technological evaluations, we discover more about the world around us.   Near space is the poorman’s space program. See how missions are performed and how students can do experiments in this close analog to outer space.
  • Play with Keva Blocks and Uberstix, Discovery Center of Idaho - 2nd and 3rd floor atriums, All Ages
  • Ride a Segway, Boise State College of Engineering – Ages 8-Adult, Room 206 (As space permits, wait in line)
  • New Build a Geyser Boise WatershedAges 8-Adult, (O) – Check out this hands-on geothermal exhibit
  • Shape Memory Alloy Demonstration, Boise State Materials Science Club – All Ages
  • Make a Bio Polymer, Boise State Society of Women Engineers – All Ages
  • Wind Tunnel and Aerodesign, Boise State BroncoWorks ClubAll Ages  – Experience the breeze of a wind tunnel which tests aerodynamic shapes, lift and drag, how models of buildings behave in wind, and how air flows around scale models. Plus the remote controlled airplane designed and built by ME students.
  • SAE Mini-Baja – Designing for Rough Terrain, Boise State Mechanical Engineering Club All Ages
  • Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge Design, Boise State Civil Engineering Club – All Ages
  • Greenspeed – Running on Vegetable Oil, Boise State Greenspeed – All Ages
  • Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars, State Dept. of Education, lobby  – ISAS is a competitive program that allows high school juniors to take an engaging online NASA-developed course on space exploration through Idaho Digital Learning Academy that teaches a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills aligned with Idaho STEM content. Based on performance in this course, students will be invited to participate in a week-long summer academy at Boise State University and NASA Ames Research Center in California.
  • Water Resources Lab, Boise State Civil Engineering, Room 3108, Ages 14-Adult
  • Experiments Explaining Volcanic Processes, Boise State Geosciences, All Ages, Lobby
  • New Terrestrial Laser Scan, Room 4110

Interactive Science Shows (I)

Interactive and fun science shows in larger classrooms.

  • Molecular Madness with Dr. Picklestein, Boise State Chemistry – All Ages, Room 110, 11am, 1pm, 3pm (45 minutes)  – Learn about the energy housed in the chemicals that make up our food…AKA…explosions, fire, ignition, combustion, and a few other demos involving liquid nitrogen, cloud in a bottle and silver plating a bottle.
  • Airplane to the Moon! Discovery Center of Idaho - All Ages, Room 110, 10am, 12noon, 2pm (45 minutes) – An entertaining science presentation that outlines space travel and why it is so hard to get the moon. Find out about forces and how planes fly. Look at what it’s like in space and find out what you need to travel there
  • New Biomedical Engineering – Ages 12-Adult, Room 103, 11-12noon, Learn about an engineer’s pathway to a career in orthotics and prosthetics

2014 Photo Gallery

DE Day Stats 2014

350 attended Barbara Morgan’s presentation

300 enjoyed the Discover Technology presentation

Dr. Picklestein had a full house (175) for each of his 3 presentations

600 Bristle Bots were made by 3:30pm

1000 BSU bags were given away

1500 programs were distributed (need more for 2015)

1500 visited the Discover Technology buses

110 drove the snowplow simulator 

125 enjoyed Science of Anthropology from 12-3pm.

250 visited Jenga Jedi

150 visited Batteries demonstration

250 enjoyed the Physics of Superheros

500 seed germination necklaces made at BUGS table

280 Edible Aquifers were made

50 attended Waste Water We Treat it Right!

500 visited the LIGO table

180 drove the ISP Driving Simulators

Liquid Nitrogen Volcano had 8 eruptions with an average of 30 spectators per eruption

Thank you…..
To our 2015 sponsors:

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To the 75 VOLUNTEERS who facilitate the activities, welcome
and direct visitors, and help make STEM Exploration a success!