North Tama Schools in Traer to Host Family STEM Festival

Area families will make their way to Traer Sunday, April 7, to drive robots, play with tornadoes and even pilot flight simulators at the first ever Tama County Family STEM Festival. This free event, which takes place at North Tama Elementary and High School from 1-4 PM, will offer kindergarten through 6th grade students a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through hands-on experiments and activities provided. The 40+ exhibitors include KWWL-TV, The University of Northern Iowa (UNI), Hawkeye Community College, Iowa State University, The University of Iowa, the Iowa DNR and the Mayo clinic, as well as many other Iowa STEM related organizations.

Cliff Chancey, Ph.D., department head for UNI’s Department of Physics, expects that exhibitors will be having as much fun as the participants. “I believe family festivals are an opportunity to spark learning in a very personal way. When young students and their parents explore STEM together, the initial surprise and wonder often develops into a long-term passion for learning,” says Chancey.

The Tama County Family STEM Festival has been organized specifically for the families from North Tama, Belle Plaine, Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Green Mountain-Garwin, Meskwaki, South Tama and Union community school districts. A similar event in Calmar on March 14 drew over 600 attendees.

“We are so excited to be able to offer these STEM festivals for our families in Northeast Iowa,” said Tonja Richards, Communications Director for the Governor’s Advisory Council Admin. Office.

“It’s important to reach out to our students and open their eyes to the world of possibilities that STEM can bring them.”

The Tama County Family STEM Festival is a collaborative partnership between North Tama and the area school districts, Tama County Economic Development Commission, iExplore STEM and the Northeast Iowa STEM Hub and the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Headquartered at UNI, the Northeast STEM Hub joins the university’s STEM education community in supporting STEM programs for teachers and students in Iowa. For more information about this or other STEM events, visit www.uni.edu/stemhub or call (319)273-7397.

STEM FESTIVAL - Hosted by North Tama Schools in Traer, the Tama County Family Stem Festival offers students in grades kindergarten-6th an opportunity to explore the wonders of science, mathematics and technology, like the students pictured above using a flight simulator. Photo courtesy of James Hoelscher.

STEM FESTIVAL – Hosted by North Tama Schools in Traer, the Tama County Family Stem Festival offers students in grades kindergarten-6th an opportunity to explore the wonders of science, mathematics and technology, like the students pictured above using a flight simulator. Photo courtesy of James Hoelscher.