The Tama County Family STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Festival is a free event that is geared to all of Iowa's Kindergarten through 6th grade students and their families. It will be held on Sunday, April 7, 2013, from 1-4 p.m. at the North Tama Schools. This festival will consist of 35-40 exhibitors providing quick, fun, hands-on STEM activities and displays for elementary aged children and their families. Some of the activities may even fascinate learners from age 3 all the way to age 99!
Professors from the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Hawkeye Community College, as well as a musician from Minnesota and a scientist from the Mayo Clinic are some of the STEM professionals who are donating their time and resources to share their expertise in their STEM fields with the exciting activities they will offer at the event. The festival will also include Mike Havlik, Head Naturalist from the Des Moines Y Camp and his presentation "Big Owls Hoot, Little Owls Toot" at 1:15 and again at 2:30.
This wonderful event has been put together through a collaborative effort of all the schools of Tama County: Belle Plaine, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Green Mountain-Garwin, Meskwaki, North Tama, South Tama and Union, as well as with a lot of work from the Northeast Iowa STEM Hub, and cooperation from the Tama County Economic Development Commission and iExplore STEM. Everyone feels very strongly about the importance of the event.
Josh Youel stated, "As the North Tama Elementary Principal I am very excited we will be hosting the very first ever Tama County Family STEM Festival on April 7th. This is a great opportunity for students and parents to explore and learn about science, technology, engineering and math activities and careers first hand. All the Tama County school districts and several surrounding schools are working together to make the festival a big success. This promises to be a wonderful educational event and it is free! I hope to see everyone on April 7th at North Tama."
Mary Sherwood, Assistant South Tama County Elementary Principal shared this, "The Tama County Family STEM Festival is a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy a day together while fostering interest in science, technology, engineering and math. This unique experience will offer a fun, family event that will challenge students in a fun and fascinating way, possibly piquing an interest to a future STEM career. We are so fortunate that this event can happen as a result of the collaborative efforts of many volunteers from all schools and communities of Tama County! I hope many families from all parts of Tama County are able to come together to take advantage of this event."
David Hill, of the Dysart-Geneseo Elementary School in the Union Community School District supports the family STEM festival for a variety of reasons, "Economic forecasts project a 20-30% increase in scientific and technology-related occupations in the next ten years. To fill these positions and to move our economy forward, we need highly skilled problem solvers and innovators. I support the Tama County STEM Family Festival because it will help to stimulate student interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The festival will give students a hands-on opportunity to experience the wonders of science and mathematics at an early age, and may encourage future interest in these high-demand career areas. Tama County families are fortunate to have a free activity like this taking place so close to home. I hope that parents and students will take advantage of this opportunity and make plans to attend."
Jerry Stephens, Superintendent of the Meskwaki Settlement School shared, "This is a great opportunity for our students and parents. We want them to see what can be for their future. Our students and parents are excited about the festival."
Tim Kuehl, Superintendent of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools also encourages families to attend this wonderful event, "The G-R schools are excited by this opportunity for students and their families to see and experience science, technology, engineering and math activities on April 7. It should be a tremendous experience for any and all who can attend."
This free event is geared for all Iowa students in grades K-6 and their families, but may also appeal to people younger and older than those ages. A concession stand will also be open and we hope to have the Pork Producers grilling during the event. Please join in for our first annual family festival of hands-on fun and exploring STEM!