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Middle school girls on the South Coast are using their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM skills to create their own innovations.

Using scissors, glue and tape to attach things like astroturf, tin foil, play-doh and bubble wrap to their projects, more than 80 nine to 13-year-old girls from Ventura County schools are building prototypes of future cities at this STEM Innovation Challenge at Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo.

Hundreds of teenagers and their hand-made robots from across California, the western U.S., Hawaii and as far as Chile converged on the South Coast, and some local teams were among the winners.  

It’s the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition, which was a three-day event that ended Saturday at Ventura College. Forty-two high schools with about 2,000 students took part.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that the fruits and vegetables you eat don’t start out at the supermarket. Instead, they begin with a seed. You could take an entire college course on how a seed turns into what ends up on your dinner plate. But, this course is being taught to an unusually young audience on the South Coast.

Preschoolers – ages three to five – are learning about gardening, sustainability, eating healthy and the environment.

What was once a seemingly endless amount of ice in the Arctic is shrinking faster than predicted by most climate change studies.

Many scientists say climate change is the main culprit. But, a UC Santa Barbara climatologist says a new study shows between a third and half of the Arctic ice lost may be due to something that's not a manmade impact.  It may be due to nature, through a major shift in wind patterns.

When you learn about research being conducted on the universe, you usually hear about it in the news, a lecture hall or a conference. But, now, astronomers on the South Coast are talking about their research to the general public in an unlikely place.

A bartender is shaking up a cocktail for a customer at the M8trx Nightclub and Lounge on State Street where 250 people have packed it to capacity. It seems like a typical night at a crowded bar. That’s until Iair Arcavi, an astronomer who’s doing postdoctoral research at UC Santa Barbara and Las Cumbres Observatory in Goleta, steps on stage.

It’s not the Oscars, but there’s a movie event happening on the South Coast to honor scholarship winners.

YCE, a Ventura-based engineering firm, is rolling out the "green" carpet on Sunday afternoon. Two female students pursuing degrees in engineering and agriculture will be receiving scholarships.

The company’s founder and president Marta Alvarez -- a civil engineer herself -- says she hopes to encourage young women to pursue engineering.

Five year old Naya Bowers is creating some art, by pushing some brightly colored plastic pegs into a giant illuminated wall.

It’s a giant, bigger than life version of the popular 60’s and 70’s children’s toy called “Lite Brite,” which makes creating art fun for kids. This is one of more than 70 exhibits at MOXI. The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, which officially opens its doors to the public for the first time this Saturday. It’s a children’s museum intended to make learning about science and technology fun.

Photo by David Hubbard

Last season’s El Nino didn’t bring a lot of rain to Southern California. But, a UC Santa Barbara researcher says it may a have actually been one of the most powerful climate events in the last 150 years.

Ecologist David Hubbard with UCSB’s Marine Science Institute is among a team of researchers who examined the 2015/2016 El Nino and its impact on beach erosion of the Pacific Coast. The results were astonishing.

“The erosion was 76% higher than normal. Most of the beaches in California eroded beyond their historic extremes.”

Scientists collected data from 29 beaches along more than 1,200 miles of coastline.

The Channel Islands are famous for the tiny island fox. But, did you know that they were also home to mammoths – weighing anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 pounds?

Researchers are now preserving a rare mammoth fossil that was discovered on the Channel Islands, and you can get a firsthand look as they try to learn more about it.

Image courtesy Gareth J. Funning and Scott T. Marshall.

An earthquake fault in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties may be much more dangerous than thought.

A team of researchers has just completed a study about the makeup of what’s called the Ventura-Pitas Point fault. They say it’s closer to the surface than previously believed, which means stronger shaking and more damage during a major quake.

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