STARS Students Volunteer at Killearn Lakes Elementary School Fall Festival

FSU students from STARS – Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service, spent their Saturday afternoon volunteering at the Killearn Lakes Elementary School (KLES) Fall Festival. This is the second year that the College of Communication & Information (CCI) and STARS has contributed to the event. 

STARS students tabled stations that invited KLES students and their families to learn more about the world of technology. The event brought in around 350 kids and 200 parents.

The “Arduino Farm” showcased single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits for building digital devices. “Ant Bots’ displayed bristle bots made by STARS and provided a take-home bristle bot kit for attendees. The “Blast from the Past” table created hands-on learning about the history of technology through a display of older cell phones, floppy disks, hard drives, and other tech. “Across the Printiverse” displayed an array of 3-D printed objects from the Fab Lab at the Innovation Hub to show students the endless possibilities of 3-D printing. “ASCII Me My Name” taught students about binary code and helped them write their name in ASCII code.

Event organizer Ressa Tomkiewicz says, “Saturday was such a success, largely due to the participation of multiple organizations. I know our students and families thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you and learning more about STEM.”

“Participating in the KLES event was a great way to connect with our community,” says STARS President Maggie Martin-McKinnie. “It was rewarding to see kids’ faces light up when they saw the ant bots, or coded their names in binary. This also allowed us to connect with other vendors and make plans for future events.”

“Volunteering at KLES was a fun experience! I had the opportunity to introduce the students to old tech and their curiosity really shows how far we’ve come with technology,” said STARS member Efner Pierre. “With monumental experiences like these, it is bound to spark creativity and innovation within the community.”

“Engagement in STEM at an early age correlates with long term academic success,” shared CCI Associate Dean Ebe Randeree. “Our 15 students from CCI spent time showcasing five technology displays to the elementary students and their parents – engaging them in experiences that inspire them to explore tech careers.

Thank you to all of the student volunteers: Anaija Leblanc, Andrea Colon-De Feria, Anni Douberly, Ashari Penerton, Betty Phipps, Catalina Smith, Daisy Lara, Efner Pierre, Jamie Guterman, Lauren Scala, Marija Travoric, Owen Van Lenten, Ryan Surujballi, Stacci Smith, and Thum Rangsiyawaranon.