Friday 22 June 2018

Students to transform the heart of Valletta

Photo above by Elisa Von Brockdorff

STEAM Squared at Science in the City on the 29th September, is a new take on the STEAM activities the festival has offered over the past couple of years. Between 6pm and midnight, St George’s Square will be overrun by University of Malta student buskers showing off their love for all things STEAM.

Science Communication expert and Festival Manager Dr Edward Duca believes that STEAM or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, “…is an integrated approach to learning. It conceptualises a shift from traditional education, in which we learn each subject separately, to a more modern ideal. One which, not only focuses on the learning process itself, eliminating the fear of failure during exams, but also on imbuing the process of critical thinking. STEAM skills are vital for success in the 21st century and critical to our future.”

STEAM is about creating problem-solving students with a penchant for critical thinking and a flair for design. These skills are the same ones that will ensure a generation of innovators with a well-rounded skill-set. At Science in the City, over 20 University of Malta student organisations will be joining forces to put this approach into practice.
Students from arts, commerce, psychology, philosophy, medicine, linguistics, ICT, engineering, dentistry and health science students as well as DTEAM educators, will perform experiments, check-ups, demos, play games, etc.. to highlight the importance of this new approach to education.
Science in the City intern, Abigail Galea met with each and every organisation to come up with a plan for STEAM Squared and ensure the activities are interactive, engaging and above all, fun. This year’s line-up includes old timers such as S-cubed, with their DNA extractions, fun puzzles and experiments, and organisations that are new to the festival, such as the Association of Linguistics and Language, the Association of Students of Commercial Studies and the Social Science Students’ Integrative, Educational and Research Association.

History of Art Students’ Association and Malta University Historical Society will be turning our gaze to the past, merging science with conservation and showing how transportation has evolved and continues to develop.

Adult topics will be presented through fun games, demos and exhibitions. Betapsi Malta’s analysis into the topic of similar behavior and morality across all races, cultures and religions, the European Law Students Association is tackling hot current issues, legislatively speaking of course, ranging from the legislation on surrogacy and marijuana, to human rights and safeguarding the environment. These are just a fraction of what STEAM Squared has in store for the 18+ audience.

Grown up topics but with fun activities for kids, will see the IEEE Malta Student Branch in collaboration with the Department of Systems and Control Engineering both from the University of Malta and Transport Malta demonstrate what is being done to help ease one of Malta’s biggest problems: traffic. Smart traffic light controllers that can adapt to reduce traffic being one solution on display. On the same topic, Kunsill Studenti Universitarji will show us what commuting will look like in the future.

Kids of all ages will have so much to see and try out for themselves. Design and Technology Educators Association Malta will be giving demos of their programming and applying it to robotics! The Earth Sciences Association will give hands on demos of ways in which we can help our troubled planet, while the Students’ Philosophy Society will explore floods from a human and scientific point of view.

Photo by - Daniel Mifsud - www.facebook.com/DanielMPhotos

Another stand on St George’s square is that being set up by the University Engineering Students Association. They will be showcasing two of their current projects, PocketQube pico-satellite and MEMENTO. The PocketQube pico-satellite is a small device – it is truly tiny, 5x5x5cm will be used for Malta’s first space mission, to check the equipment used to study earth’s upper atmosphere (the ionosphere). They will also be showcasing MEMENTO (Multi camEra high fraMe ratE syNchronisaTiOn), a product that synchronizes coupled cameras working at thousands, or even millions of frames per second.

The Malta Association of Dental Students will, as always dish out advice on taking care of oral health. They will be accompanied by the mobile dental clinic run by the Faculty of Dental Surgery and RIDT – Research Innovation and Development Trust. It will offer services any dental clinic would but on wheels.
Science in the City is part of the EU-wide celebration, European Researchers’ Night. It is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the Horizon 2020 Programme of the EU, and a number of corporate sponsors. It is recognised as a Festival by Europe for Festivals and Festivals for Europe (EFFE)

The event is organised by a consortium led by University of Malta, Malta Chamber of Scientists and the Research Trust of the University of Malta, in partnership with the Ministry  for Education and Employment, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Jugs Malta, Studio 7, MEUSAC, MCST, Esplora, Valletta Local Council, Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology, PBS, Notte Bianca, Spazju Kreativ, Pjazza Teatru Rjal, BPC, the AquaBioTech Group, the Central Bank of Malta, Wasteserv and a number of other partners.

A full programme can be viewed on www.scienceinthecity.org.mt and the festival followed on Facebook for regular updates: www.facebook.com/ScienceInTheCityMalta

 

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