STEM in the Park | Sept. 23

This year's event at BGSU will feature new, must-see zones: All Wheels, Robotics


STEM in the Park, a free, family day of hands-on displays and activities geared toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics at Bowling Green State University, will feature two new, must-see zones Sept. 23: All Wheels and Robotics.

Participants can get their wheels turning with STEM by encountering all types of wheels, tires and gears in motion in the All Wheels Zone. Sponsored by Thayer Dealerships, this zone features The Right Direction, a local organization whose mission is to empower youth by increasing action sports’ impact and access as a tool for positive youth development.

“We are thrilled to have The Right Direction at STEM in the Park this year, especially because of its strong positive message for youth, its STEM application in physical science concepts and the high-energy demonstrations,” said Jenna Pollock, STEM in the Park coordinator.

In the Robotics Zone, participants will interact with organizations that highlight cutting-edge technology involved with the design, construction, operation and application of robots.

More than 150 unique, hands-on STEM activity stations will be offered at STEM in the Park, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Perry Field House. Community partners, local businesses and area universities created the interactive displays and activities to engage children of all ages in the STEM fields.

Back by popular demand for the eighth annual event are the Food Science Zone, the Digital Media Zone, the high-energy Science of Sports Zone and the H2O Zone, which explores the science behind all of water’s amazing uses. As part of Food Science Zone, attendees are invited to bring a food or basic household/personal care item to donate to Food for Thoughts. Donations will be taken to the Cocoon Shelter. A Roots to STEM Pre K-2 Zone is also back this year, featuring activities that cater specifically to younger children.  

The STEM stage will once again feature super-sized demos from the Imagination Station and the Toledo Zoo.

Activity station hosts include BGSU’s Marine Lab and Herpetarium, SSOE, Verizon, Challenger Learning Center of Lake Erie West, Nature’s Nursery, Toledo Zoo and more than 80 other institutions and organizations.  

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, and seeks to increase public engagement in the STEM disciplines in a family-friendly atmosphere.   

The event allows participants to become a food technologist, dabble in robotics, launch pop rockets, pet lizards, take home free STEM activities and much more. Everyone who attends the event will receive take-home materials, activity ideas and a complimentary catered lunch from Tony Packo’s. Parking is free.

NWO, the Northwest Ohio Center for Excellence in STEM Education, organizes the free event on campus and is committed to increasing attendance among low-income and at-risk children. For the fifth consecutive year, transportation will be provided for families from several school districts in urban and low-income neighborhoods. Nearly 4,700 people attended last year’s event.

NWO is a partnership among 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.   

STEM in the Park presenting sponsors for 2017 are Bowling Green State University, BP, First Solar, Lubrizol, PPG and Verizon. In addition to NWO, community sponsors include Perrysburg Rotary Club, SSOE, Thayer Family Dealerships, Toyota, Wal-Mart and The Andersons. Bostdorff’s, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Glass City Federal Credit Union, Partners in Education, Tony Packo’s and Whirlpool comprise the general sponsor list.

Visit STEM in the Park for more information and to register.

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:24AM