Skip to main content

RAFT helps spread excitement about science at 2013 Bay Area Science Festival at AT&T Park

November 2, 2013 was a day of great excitement!  This year’s Bay Area Science Festival at AT&T Park in San Francisco, sponsored by Chevron, was full of interesting exhibits displaying unique approaches to learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). There were lots of robot-based activities for kids to introduce themselves to basic design and programming and other cool make & take experiences.  Throughout the day the sky was filled with sunshine, a few clouds, and an 8-foot wide floating soccer ball powered and steered using remotely controlled fan jets!

Novel gadgets and battle bots set aside, the highlight for RAFT was being able to distribute 14,000 activity kits to eager children ready to learn science.  We distributed RAFT’s infamous Hovercrafts, Simple Stethoscopes, Critter Capsules, and Fizzy Rockets.  By far the largest crowd was in the Chevron tent, where thousands of people made the Hovercrafts and Critter Capsules at RAFT’s center tables!

Special thanks goes to Chevron, who made it possible to distribute our activity kits free of charge and who provided hundreds of volunteer staff to assist in making the event successful.  We are looking forward to promoting STEM learning at next year’s event.  See you there!

Eric Welker, RAFT Master Teacher and Activity Developer


  1. I participated in this event as a RAFT Fellow. I have to say that this was one of the best events I have ever been a part of. It was so fun to share the excitement of science. Everyone, young and not-so-young, really enjoyed the Critter Capsules. It was really inspiring to see the spark of understanding as the science behind the Critter was explored/explained.I could have stayed all day, but I had another commitment that afternoon. I found myself wishing I could stay and as I left, I felt I was really missing out. I am already looking forward to participating again next year and I will make sure my family and students put it on their calendars too.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

CUSD Shares Possible STEAM Projects by Grade

Twelve STEAM Innovation Leaders from the Campbell Unified School District (CUSD) came to RAFT earlier this month to create new motivational activities for the start of the school year!  They met in grade-level teams with our RAFT Education staff to generate new ideas using RAFT materials that will motivate, challenge, and inspire their students. Each team was given a RAFT Makerspace-in-a-Box containing a wide variety of upcycled materials. They were asked to create a Design Challenge that directed students to solve the instructor’s challenge with the materials from the box. The Design Challenges addressed an engineering standard appropriate for each grade level and could include standards from other subjects. Here are some of their exciting back-to-school ideas:
************************************************************************************* Grades TK – 2 Engineering Standard: K-2-ETS1-1:  Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to chan…

Putting the E in STEAM

By Amanda Amburgey M.A, Maker Science Teacher, Bulldog Tech 

What is going on in this classroom? There are kids everywhere excitedly making, testing, remaking, retesting, hot gluing, hammering, there is so much duct tape!  This is what engineering looks like in a middle school science class.   This is excited, meaningful learning.  How did I get to this place where I feel comfortable facilitating such an active engineering process with my classes?  As a science teacher I have had practice with hands on, inquiry based labs, technology and math makes their way into those labs easily.  But, engineering had me stumped.  How was I going to be an effective engineering teacher as required with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) when I knew so little about engineering?  
This is where RAFT and their STEM workshops really saved me and gave me the courage to start engineering projects.  I started with a somewhat common misconception of what engineers do.  I thought engineering was going…

The "RAFTy" Teacher Checklist - 5 Things to do to Prepare for Back to School