More Than Four Hundred Bright Young Minds In Grades Tk-12 From Magnolia Science Academy Gathered For A Steam Expo & Makers Faire Showcasing Innovation

Students exhibited their contributions to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math


Solar-powered desalination using plastic water bottles, alternative energy models, fashion made from recyclables, and creation of an artificial pancreas, were among hundreds of exhibits presented this past Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center as part of Magnolia Public Schools’ STEAM Expo and Makers Faire. The event gathered the brightest minds in Southern California in grades TK-12 to present their year-long work, along with STEAM professionals and educators who inspired and oversaw the projects, and more than 1,000 visitors.

As Magnolia celebrates 20 years of bringing quality STEAM education to underserved communities that change the lives of students and their families, the Expo offers students a venue to show the outcome of their STEAM ideas and contributions,” said Erdinc Acar, Chief Academic Officer, at Magnolia Public Schools. “It’s very exciting to see our students enjoy their work in fields that they typically wouldn’t explore,” added Acar.

The day included performances, a robotics competition, interactive stations, and presentations by future scientists, doctors and engineers. Some of the student presenters also placed at the L.A. County Science Fair. Azmavet Inocente, an 8th-grade student at MSA 6-Koreatown, whose family is from Oaxaca, Mexico, won 3rd Place Animal Physiology in the county fair for her work on an artificial pancreas that could help diabetes and pre-diabetes sufferers better manage insulin levels and improve their overall health.

“I have many family members who are diabetic and pre-diabetic, so I wanted to find out what was the best time of day for someone with diabetes to take their insulin,” said Azmavet. “I created a model of a human pancreas to test this. I drew from scientific journals, and spoke with doctors in the field as well as patients to test my model. I learned that shortly before bed was the best time,” she added. Like a true researcher, Azmavet offered her disclaimer that in no way would her findings replace the good advice of a physician.

One of the most promising outcomes of the Expo was the number of young women interested in STEAM fields. Sixth-grader Vivian Nuñez, who attends MSA-8, Bell, pursued three areas of STEAM presenting projects ranging from art and science to engineering. She talked about how easy it is to make a dress using recycled paper, donated by students.

“I learned that recyclable equals friendly,” said Nuñez. “We need to save paper because not a lot of people are planting trees. I believe that if we use less paper, which burns fossil fuels, it’s better than wasting trees that use oxygen.”

According to Lena Mourad, a computer engineer and Nuñez’s STEAM lab teacher, the goal of these projects and the STEAM Expo is to create future engineers and scientists.

“When I started working with students, none of them knew anything about STEAM, now they’re all excited about these fields. It’s great to see the enthusiasm,” added Mourad.

For many students, their STEAM projects stemmed from personal experience. For example, Anai Dueñas Padilla, a 10th grader at MSA-4, Venice, said her father’s work as a gardener compelled her to learn about irrigation systems that support water conservation efficiently. For others, the projects created a better understanding of the environment that surrounds them. Brian Trinidad, a 9th grader at MSA-1, Reseda, and an aspiring mechanical engineer, envisioned his work about particle accelerators contributing to future modes of transportation, while Saniya Thomas and Annalyn Arreloa, 9th graders at MSA-3 Carson, explored three ways to make fake snow.

“What this project taught us is that we don’t always have to rely on people for things,” said Thomas. “You can make your own stuff.”

To learn more about how Magnolia Public Schools brings quality STEAM education to underserved communities, its annual STEAM Expo, or to learn about the many projects students are undertaking, contact Evelyn Aleman at or 818.943.2481.


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