Kids, families have fun with hands-on science, math

BOWLING GREEN, O.—STEM in the Park, a family day of hands-on fun, returns to Bowling Green State University on Sept. 27. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Perry Field House and features everything from sea creatures to pop rockets, take-home STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities and a complimentary lunch from Tony Packo’s.

Over 70 unique exhibitors will host hands-on STEM Activity Stations, with close to 100 tables of activities that individuals and families can enjoy. Activity Station hosts include BGSU’s Marine Lab and Herpetarium, Verizon, Toledo Botanical Garden, Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West, Imagination Station, ERG Environmental Services, Ohio Northern University and the Toledo Zoo.

A new addition to this year’s event is an Activity Zone titled the “Science of Sports,” which will examine how fast participants can run, how high they can jump and how far they can throw a ball. In addition, visitors can have their golf or tennis swing analyzed.

A “Roots to STEM Pre K-2” zone is also back this year, featuring activities that cater specifically to younger children.

For the second consecutive year, transportation will be provided for families in urban and low-income neighborhoods.

“STEM in the Park” is the brainchild of Drs. Emilio and Lena Duran, both faculty members in BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development. Inspired by Literacy in the Park, a spring on-campus event that brings families in for a variety of literacy-boosting activities, “STEM in the Park” seeks to increase public engagement in the STEM disciplines.

NWO, the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education at BGSU, organizes the free event. NWO is a partnership among a number of area universities, K-12 schools, and community partners who all come together to showcase innovation and educational opportunities, and promote positive attitudes toward STEM teaching and learning.

The presenting sponsors for 2014 are BGSU, BP, Lubrizol and Verizon. Community sponsors include the Bill Rowles Youth Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation, Bowling Green Community Foundation, John Deere, Spectra, Thayer Automotive, and WalMart; with support from Cooper Tires, Dura Magnetics, Giant Industries, Spark! Learning of Perrysburg, and SSOE.

Visit http://STEMinPark.org for more information and to pre-register to attend.