Alverno and Caltech Educational Outreach Host Successful Science Night


On November 30, Alverno Heights Academy hosted “Science Night at Alverno” in collaboration with Caltech Educational Outreach. Guests of all ages were given the opportunity to learn more about Alverno’s extensive STEM program as well as see some of the exciting work being done at Caltech by undergraduates, graduate students, and professors alike.

The evening started out in Alverno’s recently renovated Learning Technology Center where guests could learn more about space from Caltech students involved in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). In one demonstration, LIGO researchers explained how the instruments used to detect gravitational waves work to captivated groups of all ages. Across the LTC, researchers used a “stretchy universe model” to demonstrate how gravity warps time-space.

After leaving the LTC, guests were invited to take a look at the moon and several different types of stars through telescopes brought by the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena. The two high-definition telescopes gave a perfect up-close view of the southern and eastern side of the moon on the clear night.

In the cafeteria, visitors were treated to eight different booths that featured different demonstrations and experiments. These booths were run not only by students from Caltech but by members of Alverno’s own Science Club as well. Guests were able to make dry-ice gelato, experiment with making nylon, and see what happens to materials when they are cryogenically frozen. The Caltech Chemistry Club let participants perform the Tollen silver mirror test on glass vials and did some fun combustible and methane gas experiments for students outside.

“Currently, less than 25% of students majoring in STEM fields at the college-level are women and at Alverno we are committed to helping change that,” said Julia V. Fanara, Head of School. “Through our growing STEM program, three partnerships with Caltech, and generous STEM sponsors we have been able to provide our students with incredible opportunities to explore these groundbreaking fields ranging from astrophysics to synthetic biology to robotics. We are grateful to Caltech Educational Outreach for helping us host our first “Science Night at Alverno,” and we look forward to working with them in the future to help empower more young girls in the science fields.”

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