From the thousands of people who proudly wore “Greatness STEMs from Iowans” backpacks to hundreds of the families who participated in hands-on activities, the second annual STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair proved to be even better than the notorious butter cow.
Thanks to our great partnerships with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, we worked side-by-side with their team to coordinate a special day that helped increase interest and awareness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics among Iowans by promoting it across the fairgrounds.
The Fair’s grand concourse featured 24 exhibiting organizations from across the state that offered a variety of STEM-related activities, such as remote-controlled robots and small flying drones, all designed to ignite interest in education and attract Iowa students to various STEM career opportunities.
There was also a STEM Scavenger Hunt which was designed to show that STEM is everywhere. The hunt included taking part in several activities on the grand concourse, using a virtual reality welding simulator at the American Welding Society Lincoln Electric Semi and visiting the MidAmerican Energy Education Center to answer a STEM-related question. The first 50 to complete the scavenger hunt won STEM branded headphones, which were a huge hit with kids, and all participants were entered to win tickets to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Science Center of Iowa and Iowa Children’s Museum.
In addition, there were four stage acts from the Grout Museum District, Plank Park Zoo, Science Center of Iowa and FIRST Robotics Team Neutrino that showcased spectacular STEM performances. We also had several dozen vendors at the Fair proudly displaying their support for STEM with an advocate sign in the booth. And, to top off the day’s events were visits from STEM Council co-chair, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and former STEM Council co-chair and Vermeer CEO, Mary Andringa.
STEM Day at the Fair was a spectacular event unlike any other thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who showed their support for the future of education and economic development in Iowa.