At 11 years old, Crysta Salters is pretty sure she wants to be a baker when she’s older. But at City of Science on the College of Staten Island campus on Sunday, she was pedaling a bike to generate electricity, lighting up a bank of lights.
“It’s really fun and I like learning about it,” she said. “Maybe when I’m older, I’ll do science as a hobby.”
Hundreds turned out for the event, which included exhibits related to physics, chemistry, biology, robotics, and electricity, among others. City of Science is a part of the World Science Festival.
“This is only the beginning of a passion for science for some of these young visitors to campus but at the College we have a whole variety of STEM programs,” said Dr. Vivian Incera, Dean of the School of Science and Technology. “Our students are engaging in cutting-edge research and mentored by some of the finest faculty – as reflected in our recent U.S. News & World Report ranking at No. 134 for engineering programs in America.”
Crysta’s sister, Skylar, 10, was perhaps more open to the ideas being explored at the dozens of exhibits that filled the College’s Sports and Recreation Center.
“I don’t know what I want to be,” she beamed. The statement had nary an ounce of self-doubt, however, nor confusion.
Her father, Tiren, was pleased that the event was offering a variety of inspirations, not least to people closer to his own age.
“They’re very interested in technology and hopefully they’ll get into it more,” he said. “It’s a great program. I learned some stuff from the gravity exhibit that I hadn’t learned before. That was great.”
Among the attendees was CSI alumni Suran Silva, who earned both his Bachelor’s of Science and Master’s of Science in Engineering at the College, and now is an IT systems engineer at Fresh Direct. His son, Skyler, 10, was exploring small robots that looked like the popular “Transformers” characters.
Silva said recalled his “great experience” at CSI as instrumental in his engineering career. His son is now learning about video game design, and events like City of Science are important motivators, he said.
“He’s really into science and math and he’s been curious about everything,” Silva said. “I want him to get experience with these kinds of things.”