Welcome to the web presence for the Homesteaders STEM project, led by Connor and Curtis. Our regular meetings are on second Saturdays at 1 pm at the Homesteaders 4-H Ranch in Santa Clara. Our meeting schedule will be posted on the Homesteaders calendar with "STEM" included in the event titles.

Meeting notes

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 14th, 2015

October 17th, 2015

September 27th, 2015

Want a flier? Here you go.

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Meeting notes

July 2016

We visited the Foothill College Observatory and were treated to views of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter (+ 3 moons!), and the Messier 13 globular cluster on their telescope.

June 2016

We learned how to make a simple but fast kind of wind spinner (a three-blade turbine style). Everyone tried to make theirs go as fast as possible. Some got close to 400 RPM!

May 2016

We started the Wind Spinners activity with Science Journal. Everybody made up their own design for a wind spinner and we learned how to test them and measure their RPM.

April 2016

We used the new Science Journal app to explore our environment. We measured sound intensity, light levels, and acceleration, so see what interesting patterns we could find around the ranch.

March 2016

We imagined what salt would look like if each grain was the size of our hands and drew it. Then we used microscopes to look at sea salt, table salt, sugar, pepper, and miscellaneous found objects.

February 2016

Connor taught us about forces on flying objects (drag, lift, propulsion, and gravity) and we used our knowledge to make paper airplanes.

January 2016

Rachel, a civil engineer, taught us about bridges. We made beam bridges out of paper to support as many pennies as possible.

December 2015

We learned about computational thinking using a few problems from computer science: Map coloring, sharing information while keeping secrets, and how to guess which number I'm thinking. Activities were based on lessons from http://csunplugged.org.

November 14th, 2015

We learned about geospatial science using activities from New York 4-H. Our first activity demonstrated how you can measure distance if you know how fast a signal is moving and how long it took to reach the target (going from a GPS satellite to a handheld receiver). The second activity showed that if you gather this data point from three or more GPS satellites, you can determine the location of the receiver (the user).

October 17th, 2015

We will be doing the National Youth Science Day (NYSD) activity, Motion Commotion, to learn about the physics of moving objects (like cars) with some takeaways about safe, undistracted driving.

September 27th, 2015

We had 23 youth attend (well, 23 signed in) to watch the lunar eclipse and experiment with micro eclipses on with polystyrene balls and a lamp. Clouds blocked our viewing, but we did science anyway!

Followup: Watch this video that describes the "supermoon" eclipses we've had the pleasure of experiencing recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gzgSuJM5O8.