ECC Clubs fill up ‘space’ with NASA themed activities

Members of Phi Theta Kappa help students with NASA themed activities at

Members of Phi Theta Kappa help students with NASA themed activities at "Hooray Thursday."

Members of Phi Theta Kappa help students with NASA themed activities at "Hooray Thursday."

Ismael Cordova, Editor-in-Chief

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Elgin Community College’s Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, hosted their first ever “Space Week,” in which they collaborated with respective groups, Women Empowerment Alliance, Black Student Achievers, and Engineering Club. Space Week was held from Sept. 21 through Sept. 28.

“Space Week was surrounded around, our Vice President, Angela Andrada’s College Project for this year. She researched our school and found most students at ECC are undecided on what they were planning on majoring in, that there was a lack of STEM enrollment and especially centered on gender and racial disparities. All of those aspects are important to her, so Angela wanted to do what she could to help. She is also a part of NASA’s Community College Aerospace Engineers Scholar program, allowing her to gain experience by visiting Langley Research Center. PTK and respective clubs joined together to present our Space week here while she was away to connect both events to help promote interest in STEM and NASA for students. So, we created lots of interesting events to create an overall better experience for undecided students!” said Phi Theta Kappa secretary, Maggie Sherman.

“Shoot for the Stars, even if you miss, you’ll still land on the moon,” said the Space Week banner displayed in the Building B Hallway. Photo provided by: Phi Theta Kappa’s Facebook page.

Each event specialized in a different aspect of their theme. Their first event, held on Sept. 21, was an event known as “Promo Day.”

Promo Day brightened up the Building B hallway with shiny new buttons, gourmet cupcakes, and construction paper stars alongside a large banner that wrote “Shoot for the stars. Even if you miss, you will still land on the moon.” These stars were filled with out-of-this-world Student goals to promote both their theme and accomplishing goals that ECC students have.

“PTK was looking for an interactive encouragement wall for students to write their goal’s down. We (PTK and WEA) discussed ideas for the encouragement wall before we settled on the theme: “Shoot for the stars, even if you miss, you’ll land on the moon”. This is slightly different than the typical saying but it is more scientifically accurate this way,” said Gena Tiesch, President of Women’s Empowerment Alliance and Student Government Senator.

Their following events included “Women in Space”, “Science Kitchen”, and “Hooray Thursday.” “Women in Space,” brought a feminine flair to the Space Week theme. Women in Space brought in the discussion of “hidden figures”, women pioneers, in American Science history. Science Kitchen was an event in which members were given an opportunity to enjoy a variety of science experiments. A 3D printer was also brought into the meeting to educate members about what 3D printing is. Alongside the experiments, members were able to watch Phi Theta Kappa’s Vice President, Angela Andrada, compete in the NASA Langley Research Center robotics competition.

“My favorite part of Space Week was Science Kitchen where we were able to collaborate with ETC and perform fun science experiments for everyone to enjoy. I personally was in charge of DNA extraction and was able to teach people about genetics. I think Space Week was a major success. On Wednesday, while hosting the science experiments, I could see people’s amazement and curiosity flourish as the experiments were going on. They all seemed so intrigued by everything,” said Phi Theta Kappa Food Pantry Officer, Erin Humpfer.

Phi Theta Kappa Fellowship Officer, Miguel San Juan, and Ronald Manuel, student, pose with Space Week’s “Science Belongs to Everyone” frame. Photography provided by: Edgar Alba

The week ended with a large “hooray” in Phi Theta Kappa’s weekly Hooray Thursday. As a wrap-up to their “highly successful Space Week,” as said by Fellowship Officer, Miguel San Juan. Hooray Thursday hosted a variety of games surrounded around the areas of STEM and NASA. A Rubik’s cube competition kept students interested as others worked together to make space styled slime. The event was highly attended by students who enjoyed the great music and tasty popcorn being provided.

“I hope Space Week inspired students to learn more about the STEM fields and NASA. At the very least, I hope the students who participated enjoyed the events and had fun interacting with science,” said Phi Theta Kappa Honors in Actions Officer, Christina Tenorio.

Although Vice President, Angela Andrada, spent her space week in Virginia, Andrada’s teammates worked together to create their own NASA on Elgin Community College’s campus.

“It was a ton of work to make [Space Week] happen. It really was. However, it was worth seeing the spark in people’s’ eyes when they discovered what STEM can do,” said Informational Officer of Phi Theta Kappa, Kay Wendt.

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ECC Clubs fill up ‘space’ with NASA themed activities