SXSF: Science Fest 2013

Thank you, FTE staff, parents, students, and community presenters and volunteers who made this a special day! 
Check out the great article and photo tribute that the Westlake Picayune and Austin American Statesman published!

Pumpkin Pi... Spooky spectrometers... Petrifying Petri dishes....?? That can only mean one thing! It's...   

#HalloweenDay @

Parents' Corner
  • Feed your child a healthy breakfast on October 31. If your child normally gets a snack at school before lunch, they won't get one on Science Fest Day.
  • Dress your child in closed-toe shoes on October 31.
  • Please don't plan to visit your child on Science Fest day unless there is a medical emergency. Only registered volunteers, presenters, and staff can be allowed in the building due to the large number of people that day accessing facilities. Thank you for your understanding!

What is 



Science Fest is a half-day annual event hosted at the Forest Trail Elementary campus focusing on various science disciplines.  Over thirty presenters deliver a short 45-minute course on their subject of expertise.  

This year's Science Fest is on Thursday, October 31, 2013.  

All students rotate through three courses that they and their parents choose for them to attend, much like one does in college. The course catalog is offered annually in October on the Student HUBAll courses are free for students to attend, as all students are required to choose courses they want to take. Regular classes are suspended on Science Fest day, so participation in Science Fest is both mandatory and fun!

October 31, 2013 
Students' School Day 
Morning-Early Afternoon Schedule
8:25am - tardy bell
8:45-9:30am - first course rotation
9:35-10:20am - second course rotation
10:25-11:10am - third and last course rotation
1st grade11:10 – 11:3511:35 – 12:05
Kinder11:25 - 11:5011:10 – 11:25 
3rd grade11:40 – 12:0512:05 – 12:30
2nd grade11:55 – 12:2011:20 – 11:50
4th grade12:25 – 12:5012:50 – 1:15
5th grade12:40 – 1:151:15 – 1:40
Normal specials classes for K,1st, 2nd grades
The menu for lunch as listed on menu schedule.
Children will eat in the cafeteria as normal.
Only the times of lunch and recess have been altered.

Volunteer Corner

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - 6-8pm Setup Volunteer Crew

Please park in FRONT of the school or the soccer fields, sign in at the front doors, then you will receive instructions for various jobs. The back parking lot is for the presenters who will be unloading equipment.

Plan to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as you will be doing a lot of walking and carrying things. We will ask a couple of volunteers to supervise the playground for any children who are brought who are not assisting with setup.

Thursday October 31, 2013 Volunteer Crew

8:00 AM volunteers, please drop your child(ren) off at the front of the school (they can go to the cafeteria as early as 7:30).

All volunteers - park in the remote parking lot and take a shuttle back to the school - see attached instructions. Shuttles will be running non-stop from 7am-1pm.

About Volunteers

Volunteers are crucial for this event.  Science Fest is the largest single employment of volunteers at Forest Trail throughout the entire school year, galvanizing over 170 presenters, hall monitors, traffic monitors, presenters' assistants, hospitality helpers, and everything in between between Wednesday October 30 and Thursday October 31, 2013. 

Volunteer roles are solidified. Email Lee Brocklehurst if you are unclear about your volunteer role.

Click for larger Volunteer Parking image and instructions

Presenters' Corner


Parking will be available behind the school but we only have room for one slot per course so please car pool!  We will also have a traffic volunteer verifying who can park in the back lot so be prepared to show your ID.  If multiple cars are needed there will be some designated parking in the Westlake Oaks Executive Park and a shuttle can bring you to Forest Trail.  Please let me know if you will need more than one car and I can send you a map of the shuttle area.

PRESENTER CHECK-IN AND GENERAL INFORMATION:  Please check-in in the back parking of the school between 7:15-8 am.  The buses arrive at 8:15 am in the same area so that is why it is imperative we have you checked in before the buses arrive.  If you come to setup on Wednesday, then you don't need to check-in as early; however, we still want you to check in at the Presenter Table Check-in before 8 am.

There will be a parent volunteer/presenter assistant available to help you with class management or anything you might need.  Teachers will be visiting presentations the whole morning.  First rotation starts at 8:45 am.  

BREAKFAST and LUNCH: We are offering breakfast from 8:00 to 8:30 and Lunch will be available at 11:15 am right after the last rotation ends.  If you would like help with moving your supplies to your car/packing up, we suggest you do this prior to lunch, since the presenter assistants will be leaving shortly after.  Both Breakfast and Lunch will occur in the school Library located downstairs.

REIMBURSEMENT:  If you requested reimbursement, please bring your receipts with you.  Our Treasurer, Lisa Ashby will be at the event and can write you a check.  Her designated table will be downstairs right outside the library.


Presenter check-in 7:15 – 8:00 am
Breakfast in the library 8:00 – 8:30 am
First rotation 8:45 – 9:30 am
Second rotation 9:35 – 10:20 am
Third and last rotation 10:25 – 11:10 am
Lunch in the Library 11:15 – 11:45 am

    Course Registration Corner
    General Registration is closed and all students have been assigned Science Fest courses.

    Thank You!

    We sincerely thank the parents and community at large for their ongoing support of Science Fest! We couldn't do it without you!

    SXSF 2013 Team

    Debbie Lopez

    Science Fest 


    Science Fest 


    Kara Brown

    Science Fest 

    Curriculum Coordinator

    Jim Vasek

    Science Fest 

    Logistics Coordinator

    Lee Brocklehurst

    Science Fest 

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Why do we really 

    host Science Fest 

    every year?

    Our goal is to INSPIRE kids, and not necessarily to teach them on Science Fest day.  We don’t know what the vast future holds for our students, but

    we are sure that they are listening, watching, and soaking up the experiences of these precious years.  Perhaps we are inspiring the next astronaut, cancer researcher, or archaeologist.  Or, perhaps we are simply expanding their horizons to realize the world is full of wonder and possibility– a lesson that will benefit them for a lifetime.