School STEM festival planned for Nov. 30

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


With the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) being promoted in the Washington School District, some of the areas partners in the education of youth are banding together again this year to promote STEM.

Kirkwood Washington County Regional Center, in partnership with the Southeastern Iowa STEM Hub, will host the second annual STEM Festival for students and families in Washington County. Students from partner school districts in grades K-8, and their families, are invited to the Kirkwood Washington County Regional Center on Nov. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. to participate in this interactive, fun and free event.

?We have such a great line up of exhibitors participating in the STEM Festival and there really will be something for everyone,? Tera Pickens, Regional Center Director, shares. ?We have again had great interest from local business and industry, Kirkwood program representatives, and nonprofit organizations to participate in this event. Everyone is excited to be able to engage and excite students about STEM and show them how cool these educational and career areas really are!?

The goal of this festival is to bring STEM to life by gathering together local scientists, engineers, teachers and other education experts to provide hands-on activities that will engage and excite students about STEM fields.

Students and parents will be able to take part in interactive hands-on activities planned especially for this event. Students can learn how to weld and paint cars using virtual equipment, drive while texting in a simulated environment to learn more about the dangers of distracted driving, try their hand at laparoscopic surgery, test out equipment used by law enforcement officials, and much more!

New this year is ?Absolute Science?, a traveling science experiment for students of all ages! Students will watch and take part in the awesome experiments while learning the science behind the ?wow?! Show times are at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Federation Bank Community Room (Room 204).

The festival is organized similar to a street festival which allows visitors to stroll from activity to activity at their leisure.

Preregistration for the event would be appreciated, though not necessary.

Students can preregister online at

Registering for the event will enable students to be eligible for STEM focused raffle prizes.

Those who wish to participate should plan now for their family to attend this event.