Techfest is a free two-day family event held annually at the Downtown Campus of Sinclair Community College. The theme of TechFest is STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. This year the event was held on February 16-17 and there were approximately 70 hands-on exhibits for children to interact with. The exhibits ranged from building a gumdrop structure, re-shaping Nitinol to see it return to its original shape and how electricity can stream through multiple people to turn on a lightbulb. There were also over 30 unique presentations given by local employees, showcasing various scientific topics. This year 780 volunteers gave over 3700 hours of their time to make TechFest a highly successful event. Volunteers came from colleges, universities, professional societies, and other technology and science- related organizations.

Our company, the CAVU Group, is made up of American Thermal Instruments and Microtek Laboratories. Our team of volunteers, approximately 20 employees, ventured out to Techfest to showcase our temperature monitoring and thermal management solutions. The group put together different table activities educating the children on energy and how it corresponds with temperature. There was a “magic” color changing mat, highlighting our liquid crystal technology that turned from black to blue from the heat of their hand. Our Technology Team put together circuit boards with an electronic thermistor that turned a light bulb on through the energy put-off by their fingertips. PCM- coated foam could be touched on both sides to display the “feeling of cool”. Lastly, the children could apply a re-usable forehead thermometer to take their own temperature. They were able to take these thermometers home with them to use over and over again.

Our very own Senior Scientist Manager, Colleen Costello, gave a presentation on both Saturday and Sunday called Living in a Material World. The kids and their parents were educated on the exciting world of materials including – metals, plastics, nanos, phase change and more. Colleen has been a part of Techfest for the last 7 years and coordinated the exhibit for our team. “TechFest has always been a chance for me to marry my love for children and teaching with my love for science, technology, engineering, and math.  This year it was very special to share the experience with my colleagues at CAVU Group since I knew our exciting technologies would be intriguing for students and that my colleagues would enjoy the infectious fun of the event.  We had a blast as a team participating and the expressions on the students’ faces told me that they really enjoyed our hands-on, interactive exhibit as well,” Costello stated.

The CAVU Group volunteers at a number of community events each year through their Venture Club. This year, the Venture Club has plans to spend time at the Community Food Bank, take part in Shoes 4 the Shoeless, work on a local Moraine home and compete against a number of Dayton area companies in Battle of the Businesses this Summer, the top charity event for Dayton’s Special Olympics.