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'STEM in Your Backyard' Comes to Oceanside High
Posted 10/25/19

Students at STEM DayOpportunities in science, technology, engineering and math-based career fields were on display for Oceanside High School students on Friday, Oct. 25, for a “STEM in Your Backyard” event coordinated by San Diego Biocom Institute.


The gym was packed with tables for 23 different vendors and organizations demonstrating what they do, from coding and robotics to designing innovative technology for water filtration and conservation. 


“The whole idea is that if you can see it, you can be it,” said Karen Overklift, industry and education outreach manager for Biocom. “Hopefully they see something that they haven’t seen before and they try something hands-on, and that inspires them.”Chemical demonstration at STEM Day


At one station, dry ice was added to a soap mixture to form bubbles that students could hold in their hands, and then pop to release the smoke of dry ice. At another, students were shown the science behind testing pharmaceutical products. 


Frank Zuidema, a chemistry and physics teacher at OHS, said these kinds of programs are a great opportunity to pull students into higher-level science classes and get them “to think about the possibilities” in STEM careers. 


“To me, our biggest issue here in North County is that we have a huge number of life science companies with jobs that they can’t fill,” Zuidema said.


Student tests vitalsAt STEM in Our Backyard, students had the chance to connect with North County companies such as Bachem. Based in Vista, they produce products for used in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields.


Also on display were six of the high school’s own career tech pathways designed to prepare them for jobs in select fields, including medical professions and environmental science.


The high schoolers also got to speak with students studying STEM at local colleges and universities, including students from UCSD’s Center for Healthy Eating and Activity Research and Palomar College’s drones club. Student presents at STEM Day


Watch this week’s OSIDE Week in One Minute to see the amazing science in action, and visit the Biocom Institute website to learn more about the STEM in Your Backyard program.