Azusa Unified middle school students playfully dodged sparks emitted by a static electricity generator and gleefully watched as a trio of rolling robots raced down a track from memory during the fifth annual Eighth Grade Majors Fair on Feb. 26.

The two displays were among more than 20 booths presenting live demonstrations and interactive activities to students from Ellington School and Center, Foothill and Slauson middle schools as a way of sparking interest in college majors and careers involving subjects and industries such as math, kinesiology and hospitality.

“I want to be a forensic scientist or detective and the administrative justice representatives gave me more information on how to get there,” Ellington School eighth-grader Alyssa Juezan-Slator, 14, said. “I also learned that it’s good to be bilingual. Knowing how to speak Spanish will help you represent the Spanish community and you can prevent miscommunication in any job you have.”

Azusa Pacific University, in partnership with Cal Poly Pomona and Citrus College, started the fair for Azusa Unified students five years ago. Booths provided a range of university studies and organizations, including automotive technology, where students loosened and tightened a tire’s lug nuts, and the Cal Poly Bronco soccer team, where students played a soccer version of “Monkey in the Middle.”

“This was a great opportunity for our eighth-grade students to be introduced and educated on the many majors offered in college,” Azusa Unified Board President Yolanda Rodriguez-Peña said. “I hope that students went home with a better understanding of the majors they would like to pursue after leaving Azusa Unified.”

Students collected colored stickers at each booth to fill participation cards for a chance to win prizes that included university apparel and gear.

“Azusa Unified continually enhances programs inside and outside of the classrooms for our students to discover their potential and better plan their futures,” Superintendent Dr. Linda Kaminski said. “I want to thank our higher education partners for investing in our children and providing such an enriching experience that will no doubt have a tremendous impact on their lives.”


MAJORSFAIR1: Foothill Middle School students watch a classmate try to avoid a static electric shock generated by a Wimshurst machine at the math and physics booth at the Eighth Grade Majors Fair on Feb. 26. Students participated in more than 20 interactive booths and live demonstrations representing a variety of college studies and organizations.

MAJORSFAIR2: Azusa Unified students listen to a technology and design major representative explain the memorization modes of three robots that raced down tracks on a table. Majors at the Eighth Grade Majors Fair on Feb. 26 included math, kinesiology and hospitality.

MAJORSFAIR3: An Azusa Unified student loosens and tightens the lug nuts of a tire at the automotive technology booth at the Eighth Grade Majors Fair on Feb. 26. Students were introduced to a variety of majors and departments, including administrative justice, veterinarian studies, and technology and design.