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*** The 2020 Akron Regional Science Olympiad has been canceled. If you have any questions, please email ***

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AGPA Science Fridays

BIG Science for Little Learners

AGPA and the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School

Science Fridays is a collaboration between the Akron Global Polymer Academy and the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School. The face-to-face program is designed to help young students cultivate a love for STEM and to provide a space for students to encounter the world of polymers in a way that makes learning fun and inspirational. We want to get kids excited about STEM education by introducing them to an assorted range of BIG, LOUD, and MEMORABLE science demonstrations!

The 15-30 minute demonstration sessions are curated by the AGPA's John Fellenstein (aka "Professor" Polymer) and faculty members from the world-reknown College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron. Each demonstration introduces kids to scientific concepts and phenomena in an engaging (and often surprising) way. The captivating nature of the demos creates opportunities for teaching students the science behind the experiments and for making connections to real-world applications.


John Fellenstein and Dr. Ruel McKenzie were back at it again, as the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering’s Akron Global Polymer Academy stopped by the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame STEM Middle School for a “COOL” Science Friday. This edition was called frozen science and included demonstrations using liquid nitrogen and dry ice. Watch to the very end to find out if “Professor Polymer” and Dr. McKenzie could actually make a "THUNDER CLOUD" inside the auditorium…


The AGPA returned to the National Inventor's Hall of Fame STEM Middle School for the second edition of Science Fridays. This time the team was accompanied by "Manny Monomer" (Dr. Ruel McKenzie, an assistant professor of polymer engineering at The University of Akron's College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering). The main theme was spooky science and featured a variety of demos including: electrifying a pickle, concocting a batch of elephant toothpaste, and using sound waves to interact with the flames on a Ruben's tube. In the final demo, "Professor Polymer" (John Fellenstein) showed the students how scientists "carve" a pumpkin (let's just say it's really LOUD!!). Watch till the very end to see a sweet 3-camera view of the exciting AGPA jack-o-lantern carving!


On August 31st, 2018, we made our first visit to the National Inventor's Hall of Fame STEM Middle School for Science Fridays. The main theme for this event was combustion and featured a variety of demos where "Professor Polymer" safely set things on fire in front of the student body. Keep an eye out for the "Whoosh Bottle" demo, which contained a flame and sound so BIG that it surprised many of the students, coaches, and even our own AGPA camera crew!

National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM Middle School

The NIHF STEM Middle School's vision is to provide the highest quality education experience for students that ensures creativity and inventive thinking through a focus on science, mathematics and technology.

NIHF STEM Middle School Comments about Science Fridays

John and Ruel (Dr. Ruel McKenzie, Assistant Professor in the Department of Polymer Engineering), [we] just wanted to thank you both for another amazing science morning for our kids. You guys are nailing the vision - keeping science alive and well (and fun!) in middle school. - Coach Crews, NIHF STEM Middle School

We have loved having "Professor Polymer" visit the school. He brings interesting, engaging science experiments and tricks that pique the interest of our learners. - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

He's kept our learners interested and engaged - and that says a great deal when talking about middle schoolers!

My 6th graders have loved "Professor Polymer". I also have enjoyed his experiments. - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

Exciting, Engaging, and Educational!!! - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

SO MUCH FUN! The kids love the presentations and I am just as engaged in learning. - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

[Science Fridays] have been an awesome experience for my learners and I. "Professor Polymer's" experiments always rank high in the "cool" factor and he does a great job explaining the science in language the students (and I) can understand. I can't think of a better way to kick start a fun day of learning than an Exploding Pumpkin! - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

I think the presentations have been fun and informative! Emphasizing the "S" in STEM is awesome for our learners! - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

This is an exceptional experience for our learners and an engaging way to inspire science in all of us! - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School

Our learners are excited to see the "professor". They are extremely interested in his experiments. This is a wonderful experience for them and the staff. - Staff, NIHF STEM Middle School