Welcome to Altadena Eliot Science Fest

A school ground

Eliot Arts Magnet School (Photo – Jennifer Hall Lee)

On April 23, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Pasadena Unified School District will host a science, technology, engineering, robotics, health, and environment extravaganza at the Eliot Arts Magnet School.

By Jennifer Hall Lee

Principal Dr. Benita Scheckel said, “The arts community at Eliot is thrilled to be able to bring this traditional, district-wide science festival back to Eliot after two years.

Dr Warren Skidmore, parent responsible for the Science Fest planning committee and its founder, said: ‘For our first in-person event in over two years, we have adapted the science festival to be Covid safe. while being a fun and inspiring event. with a wide range of exciting bands that bring something for everyone.

In 2010, the event was originally called Science Night. Created when the two Skidmore girls were toddlers at Hastings Ranch Preschool and the toddlers were blown away by Caltech’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Awareness demonstration of “how comets are cold by freezing flowers in liquid nitrogen and smashing them in front of the students!”

As Dr. Skidmore’s daughters grew, so did the science night. From Webster Elementary School, then to Eliot Arts Magnet where, according to Dr. Skidmore, Science Night began to “grow rapidly”.

Original scientific presentations were everywhere; hallways, classrooms, gymnasium and quad. There were 1200 visitors, 200 volunteers and 80 presenters. Climate Elvis, a JPL oceanographer named Dr. Josh Willis, demonstrated climate change on glaciers as they reach the ocean. The little Robot R2 D2 rode in the Eliot quad.

Renamed Altadena Eliot Science Fest

Science Night has now been renamed Altadena Eliot Science Fest because Eliot Arts and Altadena Arts now have a director, Dr. Benita Scheckel.

Dr Skidmore said of this year’s festival: “there is a multi-dimensional array of groups”. Indeed, there are.

For those curious about our universe, come and see the presentations of the Thirty Meter Telescope, the Carnegie Observatory, the JPL – Europa Clipper space missions, among many others.

If you are more of an earthling, visit the presentation of the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles, Teranga Ranch, Friends of California Condor, Caltech – Physical Oceanography and, of course, the famous Eliot Garden. Virtual exhibits such as feeding the sea lions at the sea lion hospital will take place in the classrooms.

Who isn’t interested in public health these days? You can hear presentations from the Pasadena Tobacco Control Program, the CalFresh Healthy Living Program, and the City of Pasadena’s Lead-Free Homes Program.
And of course, there’s robotics: robotics engineers, Pasadena High School IFC Robotics Club, First Robotics Team 2404, are just a few.

Locally we have the Altadena Emergency Radio Team, Altadena Sheriff’s Station, LA County Public Works, Altadena Library, and much more.

PUSD has many interesting programs in its schools. The Altadena Eliot Science Fest is one of the best, and it’s free.

> For a complete list of virtual exhibitions and participating groups, click on this link.

Jennifer Hall Lee
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