April 25, 2013
Iowa’s K-12 students are invited to experience firsthand how much fun science and math can be at the iExploreSTEM Festival planned from 1–5 p.m. on May 4 at the Lucille A. Carver Mississippi Environmental Research Station (LACMRERS) on the banks of the Mississippi River near Muscatine.
A variety of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities are planned for kids at the festival, including an interactive flood model from the Iowa Flood Center and the National Weather Service, an opportunity to build a robot with the Iowa State Extension Office of Muscatine County, and a chance to learn about the human body with plastinated human body specimens provided by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Among the day’s speakers will be Stanley Consultants President and CEO Gayle Roberts, who will speak at 1 p.m., and University of Iowa College of Engineering Dean Alec Scranton, who will speak at 3:45 p.m. The entire event is free and open to the public.
Diane Campbell, director of Innovation and Instruction in the Muscatine School District, says the festival will feature a diverse set of activities for young people. “We’re very excited about the activities and demonstrations we have planned,” Campbell says. “We’ve got everything from flubber (a chemistry activity) to robots. It should be fun for students, as well as educational.”
LACMRERS is part of the University of Iowa’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, and provides a beautiful setting for people to study, collaborate, and learn about the river. Learn more about LACMRERS at www.iihr.uiowa.edu/lacmrers (a map is also available).
The iExploreSTEM festival at LACMRERS is part of Living with Floods, a statewide series of events that marks the fifth anniversary of the historic Iowa floods of 2008, and recognizes and celebrates the strength and resiliency of Iowans in the face of repeated flood events. The culmination of Living with Floods will be a free public performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on June 11 at Riverside Park in Muscatine.
Several UI departments and units are collaborating on Living with Floods; these include the Iowa Flood Center, Hancher, the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the UI colleges of education and engineering, the Department of Health and Human Physiology, and the State Hygienic Laboratory. These UI partners are engaging with seven communities across the state, including Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Dubuque, Iowa City, and Muscatine. Throughout the spring of 2013, Living with Floods is sponsoring community forums; STEM learning events for K-12 students; and free community concerts in the partner communities. Sponsors of the LACMRERS iExploreSTEM Festival also include: Kent Corporation/GPC, Muscatine Community College, Monsanto, HNI, Carver Pump, Central State Bank, Stanley Consultants, Sycamore Printing, Iowa’s Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Hy-Vee, and the Muscatine Community School District.
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