BUENA PARK, CA – Nearly 75 Buena Park School District students mastered the designs of Mother Nature, learned the metamorphosis of frogs through Lego programming, discovered how engineers are taking wildlife into consideration when building structures and understood the importance of predators and prey during the District’s biannual Super Saturday event.
Held Nov. 5 at Buena Park Middle School, Super Saturday invited all Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) students in grades three, four and five. The event gave students the chance to learn about biomimicry – the act of using nature’s designs to influence buildings and vehicles.
The District teamed up with the Orange County Department of Education’s (OCDE) “Inside the Outdoors” program to host the event, with the help of Director of Educational Programs Seri Hwang.
“Through the GATE Super Saturday event, our students are given additional opportunities outside of the classroom to explore how to combine nature’s models with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” Hwang said. “Super Saturday is a great avenue for students across our District to collaborate, innovate and build their creativity skills.”
Students learned from OCDE instructors while handling frogs, tarantulas and turtles to understand wildlife, played freeze tag to simulate predator and prey populations, constructed Lego frogs for racing, and built popsicle stick bridges to allow animals to safely traverse over dangerous human-made obstacles such as highways.
“I loved the frog engineering Lego project because it was fun to be able to make things with my hands and electronics,” Emery School fifth-grader Sophia S. said. “Super Saturday makes me want to become an engineer because it taught me about many different subjects like building bridges to help wildlife and how we can use animal designs to make machines.”
Hwang also said that Super Saturdays are important for boosting student interest in STEM careers and developing students’ knowledge of biomimicry. The next Super Saturday event will be held in spring 2023.
“Super Saturday is always such an amazing event for everyone involved – it truly is inspiring to see how just one day of additional learning can create dozens of young environmentalists and scientists,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “I think that the latest Super Saturday inspired many of our students and I cannot wait to see how it drives their goals for life and careers.”
SUPER1: Buena Park School District students Juliet P. (left) and Claire M. (right) showcase their Lego frog design, which mimics the jumping pattern of a real frog using computer programming, plastic pieces and a small motor. Juliet and Claire learned about the movements of frogs and other animals during the fall Super Saturday event on Nov. 5 at Buena Park Middle School.
SUPER2: (Left to right), Buena Park School District students Aaron U., Miguel P., Brayden L. and Jaden W. build a popsicle stick bridge to assist animals traverse dangerous highways to ensure wildlife safety during the fall Super Saturday event on Nov. 5. Some 90 Gifted and Talented Education students attended the event to learn about how engineering and science can be used to work alongside wildlife.