Bringing Hands-on Science to Life at Utah STEM Fest 2016


In early February, EGI and Utah’s DOE FORGE team participated in the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development 2016 Utah STEM Festival. STEM Fest is a unique gathering of Utah educational and business leaders engaged in science and technology. The event offers students in 7th through 10th grades the opportunity to discover exciting and innovative career opportunities right here in Utah. With a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), the festival aims to fuel imagination and harness innovation and give students a chance to see science at work in their communities.

EGI hosted a booth in conjunction with the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development at the three-day event for schools from throughout Utah, as well as an evening session open to the public. EGI’s booth offered students a broad array of interactive learning opportunities, including the DOE FORGE Utah EGS project, 3D Geology, rock & mineral identification, microscope examination of mineral samples, and robotic mining. Students learned about the diverse geology that makes up their state and how EGI scientists and students are working to develop energy resources, career opportunities, and sustainable ways to deliver clean energy to families across the state and nation.

With interactive, hands-on activities and EGI scientists and staff, students learned how to use microscopes to examine mineral samples, how to identify many of the common rock and mineral samples they encounter throughout Utah, and learn how 3D images of core samples can help scientists access subsurface energy resources.

Many of the students engaged in an “interview the scientists” activity in which they asked detailed questions and got in-depth answers about a scientist’s work. M.Sc. student Spencer Nish is a graduate research assistant working with the Utah FORGE team. Spencer was interviewed by middle school students about Geothermal Energy in Utah and how the FORGE project will bring opportunities for sustainable energy development, jobs, and education to Utah and the U.S. His insights as both student and researcher are a key component in connecting students and members of the public with real-world science and opportunities to get involved.

As an undergraduate working on the Liquid from Shales Phase 2 project, Spencer assisted in collecting and analyzing production data. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Chemical Engineering working with Dr. Joseph Moore researching Deep Sedimentary Geothermal basins, focusing on reservoir simulation and optimization.

Scroll through the full gallery of images to take a peek at what was on offer for students, teachers, and parents alike at STEM Fest 2016.