CCC represents at city's STEM celebration

Flagstaff, Ariz. – Little hands reached for living plants, replica human skulls and firefighter helmets. A child peered into a microscope to see bugs crawling through compost. Exclamations of “wow,” and “ooh,” carried over the noise, and all faces, children and adults alike, were alight with wonder.


More than 40 employees and students from Coconino Community College made a significant showing at the Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration, Monday, March 5, at the Northern Arizona University Skydome. It was the fifth installment of exhibits demonstrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. More than 100 organizations were featured, and about 4,000 children and their parents attended the event.


“This year, we had the largest CCC participation to date,” said CCC Science Instructor Melinda McKinney, who did most of the organizing duties for CCC’s showing. “Everyone really raised the bar this year.”


Eight disciplines from CCC were featured at more than a dozen tables at what looked arguably to be the largest showing of the night. Engineering featured Ozobots and drones. Math and physics demonstrated the concept of “center of gravity” and people drew reflected images on paper. Fire sciences had children and adults trying on full firefighting gear, and nearby, Emergency Medical Services featured Trauma HAL, a life-like mannequin, who demonstrated how patients respond to medical emergencies.


For biology, people got to test conductivity of different materials, used balloons to give material static charge and showed how charged objects could deflect streams of water. Environmental science students helped people construct layered take-home terrariums and showed wide-eyed children how to identify magnified objects as well as get a good look at bugs living in compost. Anthropology students featured the depth of the human experience on planet Earth.


“The most rewarding part of the event for me personally is getting to watch CCC students pass on their knowledge to the next generation of students,” McKinney said. “This event is ‘hand’s on’ and everybody gets dirty. Many of the CCC environmental biology students literally got their hands dirty this year helping more than 100 young people to build their own terrariums from recycled plastic bottles.”


McKinney added, “It is really awesome to know that all over Flagstaff, there are plants growing as a result of STEM night at the Skydome. Moreover, the growth of an interest and appreciation for all things STEM is hopefully now growing in many of those who experienced this truly awesome event.”


CCC students Laney Williams and Kari Webb staffed the “Properties of Water” booth and featured how water affects, and is affected by, static electricity.


“It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to do something like that … and experience all of it – the kids, the parents and their reactions,” Williams said. “That was the best part entirely.”


Webb had a similar reaction, and added, “I’m usually an observer taking my children. It was a cool thing to be a part of it and watch the little kids light up.”


Williams said it was like going back to her own childhood.


“Once they tried one thing, they wanted to try everything at the table,” Williams added and laughed.


Webb added that her enthusiasm was sparked by McKinney’s passion and energy for the event.


McKinney said the excitement of the event is contagious.


“We have such an incredible community,” McKinney said. “I am so proud of the CCC students and faculty who contributed to the overwhelming success of this celebration of science.”


For more photos of CCC’s participation in the Flagstaff Community STEM Celebration, visit CCC’s Flickr page at



Friday, 9th March 2018

All Dates

  • Friday, 9th March 2018