Science Fusion, the Science Museum's popular annual event series that celebrates diversity in science achievement, kicks off on Saturday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2018
Media Contacts

Kim Ramsden, PR Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, PR Specialist, (651) 221-9412

St. Paul, Minn. – On four Saturday afternoons in January and February, science, culture and opportunity will meet during the Science Museum of Minnesota’s popular Science Fusion event series. This long-running event series focuses on the accomplishments of members of the Twin Cities’ Asian American, African American, American Indian and Latino and Hispanic communities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

During each Science Fusion event, science and education professionals from leading Twin Cities companies will present displays that demonstrate their passion for their work and highlight the contributions they've made to science and innovation. Visitors of all ages will get a memorable, hands-on look at the scientists’ areas of expertise in a science fair-style setting that is the perfect atmosphere for in-depth, one-on-one interaction between visitors and presenters. And at each event, the Science Museum and Donaldson Company will recognize a high-achieving Minnesota high school student with the 2018 Donaldson STEM Award (award winners listed below).

The Science Fusion event series is presented by Donaldson Company.

The 2018 Science Fusion events are:

African Americans in Science: Saturday, January 13
Visitors will meet science and educational professionals from Donaldson Company, Ecolab, 3M, the University of Minnesota, the National Society of Black Engineers, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, the USDA Forest Service, and the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, learn about what they do through interactive displays and presentations, and discover the inspiring contributions they’ve made to technology, education, health care, and innovation. Visitors will also enjoy performances by Urban Jazz Trio and Universal Dance Destiny.

Amantes de la Ciencia!: Saturday, January 20
Amantes de la Ciencia (Lovers of Science) introduces visitors to science and education professionals from the Twin Cities' Latino and Hispanic communities. Companies and organizations represented this year include Donaldson Company, Ecolab, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Public Television, the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, and others, along with live entertainment from Salsa del Soul and Grupo De Danzas Colombianas en Minnesota.

American Indians in Science: Saturday, January 27
Visitors will meet individuals from Minnesota’s American Indian communities who have made significant contributions to science, engineering, and education. Professionals from the Donaldson Company, the USDA Forest Service, the Mayo Clinic, North Star American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the Science Museum’s Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, and more will meet visitors and engage them in hands-on science programming. Visitors will also meet Menzer Pehlivan, a geotechnical engineer who appears in the upcoming Dream Big Omnitheater film.

Asian Americans in Science: Saturday, February 3
Rounding out this year’s Science Fusion series is Asian Americans in Science, an event that invites visitors to meet science and education professionals who represent many geographic backgrounds, from Southeast Asia to the mainland and the Pacific Islands. The presenters, including representatives from Donaldson Company, Union Gospel Mission, the University of Minnesota, St. Catherine University, the Science Museum’s Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, and more will share stories about their experiences and successes in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines, and get visitors involved with hands-on activities that relate to their areas of expertise.

All events are from 1 to 4 p.m. Science Fusion activities are free with the purchase of general exhibit admission. During each Science Fusion event, up to four kids enter FREE with the purchase of one adult ticket. Special rates are available for individuals with limited incomes; visit smm.org/tickets for more information.

Donaldson Award recognizes exceptional student achievement
In conjunction with the 2018 Science Fusion event series, four students from around Minnesota will be formally recognized and awarded the Donaldson STEM Award. The award recognizes Minnesota high-school students who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in or passion for a STEM discipline, either in the classroom or outside of school. Students are nominated for the award by teachers or mentors, and they are publicly recognized at one of the Science Museum’s four Science Fusion events.

All winners receive $500 and a one-year membership to the Science Museum of Minnesota and will attend the Science Fusion event for which they were nominated. Award ceremonies will take place at 12:30 p.m. on the Atrium Stage on level 3.

2018 Donaldson STEM Award Winners:

Hanna Tadesse Recognized on Saturday, January 13 at African Americans in Science
Hana, a senior at Blaine High School, was nominated for the Donaldson STEM Award by school counselor Katie Zimba. Ms. Zimba sees Hana as a natural leader who is committed to community service, her family, and the mentorship of others. As a high school sophomore, Hana participated in a Facebook “Girls Who Code” summer immersion program. Through this program, Hana and her team built an interactive mobile app to bring awareness to the homeless experience in America. Hana currently serves as a peer mentor through the Bengal Pride Leaders program and is an active member of the Blaine High School service learning club, Bengals in Action. Beyond high school, Hana plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science, with a focus on communication and security. She is particularly interested in exploring security practices in third world countries and in devising a way to provide proper security and equal protection rights to all people. This serves as yet another example of Hana’s commitment to giving back to others.

Emilia Hidalgo Recognized on Saturday, January 20 at Amantes de la Ciencia!
Emilia, a senior at Great River School in Saint Paul, was nominated for the Donaldson STEM Award by his guidance counselor, Teresa Hichens Olson. Ms. Olson describes Emilia as a driven, passionate, dependable student with a deep love of learning and a desire to share that joy with others. A 2017 Hispanic National Merit Scholar, she is currently taking full-time courses at the University of Minnesota and is enrolled in International Baccalaureate classes. She takes her role as a global citizen seriously, volunteering in her community, speaking three languages, and mentoring girls to pursue projects in STEM. As a high school freshman, Emilia created and led a coding club herself. Over the past two years, she has volunteered as a workshop leader with high-needs students at a local elementary school. Through her work, she shares her love of Science and Math with a new generation of learners. Emilia advocates for equity in STEM fields and is vocal about her concern for access to education and STEM programming. Beyond high school, Emilia plans to attend college and major in Computer Science, with a possible dual degree in Math or Engineering.

Katrina Ziells Recognized on Saturday, January 27 at American Indians in Science
Katrina, a senior at Cloquet Senior High School, was nominated for the Donaldson STEM Award by her Science Research mentor, Dr. Cynthia Welsh. Since middle school, Katrina has dreamed up and delivered science research projects on topics ranging from Indian Walking Sticks and food selection to music genre and mood to video games and their relationship to academic performance. Her video game study drew the attention of Dr. Nicole Nowak-Saenz, a Psychology professor at the College of St. Scholastica who studies similar human behaviors and has encouraged Katrina to publish her research. They are working together to make this effort a reality. Katrina’s interpersonal skills have helped her draw connections with her peers, staff, advisors, and other professionals within the scientific community. She works with middle schoolers to support their STEM-related projects at science fairs and special events. Katrina’s hard work, persistence, and overall enthusiasm for STEM research has earned her recognition in the top 10% of the projects at the Northeast Minnesota Regional Science Fair, and she has earned the American Psychological Association Award and the Creative Technology Award. Beyond high school, Katrina plans to attend college and continue her learning, focusing on engineering and CAD.

Quan Guan Recognized on Saturday, February 3 at Asian Americans in Science
Quan, a senior at Wellstone International High School, was nominated for the Donaldson STEM Award by his Career and College counselor, Christopher Stoltenberg. Quan Guan was born and raised in a small town called Jinfeng in China. When Quan was 14, he immigrated to the U.S., but he did not speak English and he was unfamiliar with U.S. culture and customs. After years of hard work and persistence, he is now taking college-level English and Math classes and is enrolled in the PSEO – the Post Secondary Education Option - program at the University of Minnesota. He played a major role in developing Wellstone’s Engineering Club and is now a regular member. He travels to a neighboring high school to participate in their math team meetings and activities. Mr. Stoltenberg describes Quan as selfless, humble, and kind. Beyond high school, Quan dreams of being a structural engineer, giving back to others by providing the means for safety and shelter through well-designed highways, schools, and homes in his community.

The Science Museum of Minnesota has a 111-year history of bringing science learning to life through hands-on exhibits, giant screen films, and unparalleled educational opportunities that reach people in Minnesota and around the nation each year. For museum information, call (651) 221-9444 or visit smm.org.

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Please note: Images from past Science Fusion events are available. Contact Sarah Imholte at (651) 221-9412 or simholte@smm.org for access.

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