A youngster visits the Mike's Plumbing and Pump Service booth at the STEM Fest in Coon Rapids on Saturday, March 24. There were 29 booths for visitors to learn about science, technology, engineering and math during the two-hour event.

STEM-ulate Your Future

Families and youth participated in a hands-on STEM Fest, hosted by Guthrie County Extension and held at Coon Rapids-Bayard high school on Saturday, March 24. 

The free, fast-paced, educational afternoon was filled with family fun learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Visitors explored local heroes with the fire department and Emergency Medical Services, learned about ethanol production, investigated wildlife rehabilitation, dove into a real medical lab, and operated drones. 

They also learned about animal science, explored electricity with Science Center of Iowa, and discovered pollinators. 

There were door prizes and giveaways in the two-hour long event. 

Owen Weber, 11, from West Central Valley put on gloves to explore organs of a deceased young pig. John Greving of Veterinary Services AMVC, talked to the young Weber about how the nutrients from the food the pig eats goes through it’s body, pointing out organs and veins along the way. 

“That’s really cool,” Weber said as Greving pointed to the pig’s intestine and pancreas. 

“The liver makes the nutrients into blood which pumps back to the heart,” Greving said. 

Ryne Noland, 8, of Adair was also intrigued with the pig’s organs, as he stepped closer to get a better look. 

Chad Sheley, a volunteer at the John Deere booth, weighed a piece of aluminum foil holding toy tractors and pennies. 

“The service area is better with tall sides,” Sheley said as he measured 529 grams on the scale. One youngster got a piece of aluminum foil to hold 1,119 grams earlier in the day, Sheley said. 

Participants could fold the aluminium foil anyway they wanted to get it to hold the most weight as they added the toy John Deere figures and added pennies until their foil sunk to the bottom of the tub of water. 

Coon Rapids-Bayard high school FFA members Caitlin Schultes, Jacey Hoffman and Emily Baker shared with visitors about the DNA for strawberries. 

Panorama FFA member Molly Simmons shared about soil and water at another booth. 

Callin Stangl, 18 months, climbed on a pedal tractor to explore. 

Coon Rapids-Bayard sixth-grader Breeley Clayburg experimented with static electricity as her hair stood straight up on top of her head during a visit to the Science Center of Iowa booth. 

Natalie Lewis of Lewis Chiropractic in Coon Rapids shared with visitors to her booths about the bones in their backs. 

“Do you know what order these go in,” as she encouraged a group of students visiting her booth to line up the bones. 

At the Whiterock Conservancy booth, participants pulled items from a tub, including a milk jug, placing it on a year as they guessed how long it takes each product to decompose in our environment. Participants were each given a backpack when they signed in and had a passport stamped as they moved throughout nearly 30 booths inside the Coon Rapids-Bayard school. 

Contact Us

Guthrie County Times Vedette
PO Box 38
111 E. Main Street
Panora, IA 50216

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