BGSU’s annual STEM in the Park draws nearly 4,000 peopleWritten by Chase Will | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Nearly 4,000 people recently gathered at Bowling Green State University’s Perry Field House for the fifth annual STEM in the Park event.
Over 110 activity tables provided kids as young as pre-kindergarten with new ways of investigating science, technology, engineering, and math.
“I feel this was the best event of all five years,” said project coordinator Jenna Pollock. “It ran smooth, the crowd was spread out nice and there were no lines for food or exhibits.”
Activities at the Sept. 27 event included making giant-sized bubbles, creating “silly putty” and testing wearable technology created by Verizon for athletes.
“We had a lot of BGSU athletes demonstrating the technology for kids,” Pollock said.
The wearable technology helps athletes improves various aspects of their performance, such as striking better with a tennis racket or running efficiently, Pollock said.
BGSU’s marine biology lab provided tanks where kids could touch starfish and other aquatic life.
“We like to have a take-home activity at each table, that way when kids go home they can try something which will extend their learning, and parents can get involved in keeping that excitement going,” Pollock said.
Toledo School for the Arts entertained guests with an outdoor show from their steel drum band.
A free lunch was catered by Tony Packo’s, and snacks were provided throughout the day.
“We purposely made this a no-cost event, and we feel very strongly about families not needing to pull out their wallets,” Pollock said.
Everyone who registered was sent an evaluation, which helps Pollock and her colleagues improve the event each year. Everyone who returns a completed evaluation will be entered into a drawing for one of five $100 Amazon gift cards.
Evaluations help in the year-long planning process, according to program evaluator Jake Burgoon.
“A lot of parents see big changes in their children’s interests in STEM after the event,” Burgoon said. “A lot of times I think these activities show aspects of STEM which aren’t immediately realized. The kids are having too much fun to really think about it.”
For more information on STEM in the Park, visit www.steminthepark.org.