Iron Range STEM showcase Friday, Oct. 6

Students learn about building bridges during the 2016 Iron Range STEM Showcase. (All photos provided by Elizabeth Pluskwik, Pluskwik Photography)

This Friday, Oct. 6, the Iron Range STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Showcase will again welcome area 6th graders and the general public to explore concepts and careers in science.

First, during the school day, more than 2,000 sixth graders from 28 northeastern Minnesota schools will take part in more than 60 interactive activities at the Hibbing Memorial Building. Then, from 4-8 p.m., the general public is invited to tour some of the same activities and displays.

“The STEM Showcase is an energy-filled experience for people of all ages,” said Dr. Elizabeth Pluskwik, Business Professor at Iron Range Engineering. “To see the student engineers from across the Iron Range, sharing the fun of creative science and engineering with the younger kids is amazing.

“A great deal of education research indicates that learning is “sticky” and long-lasting when it is fun, active, and shared with peers, and the STEM Showcase has all of those elements,” continues Pluskwik. “The event is exciting and a great way to spend time with friends and family seeing all kinds of really interesting scientific phenomena. The student engineers and industry partners enjoy the day also; I saw their love of science and creativity shine through at every booth.”

The event is put on by the Range Engineering Council, a nonprofit organization that supports and facilitates educational programs across the Iron Range that promote awareness and encourage participation in STEM programs.

This fun-filled day, inspired by Michigan Tech’s Mindtrekkers event, emerged as a partnership between the Rand Engineering Council and area industries, grade schools, Iron Range Engineering, Itasca Community College, Hibbing Community College, the College of St. Scholastica, and the University of Minnesota Duluth.

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