The Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)  Initiative organization on campus hosted their first annual Family Science Day for young students and their families at the Goergen BME Building this past Saturday, April 19.

The event was co-sponsored by eighteen different clubs and organizations, including some off-campus organizations like the Rochester Academy of Science, which had their own booths for the students and families to visit.

Some activities that both students and families participated in were wearing Prism Goggles to alter their visual perception (sponsored by the Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Neuroscience Council), building a star wheel to help observe the night sky (sponsored by Rochester Academy of Science, Astronomy Section), using Baja vehicles (sponsored by Baja), and creating and using invisible ink (sponsored by Chi Omega), among other booths hosted by different clubs and organizations.

According to sophomore and Co-President of the STEM Initiative Jenny Yoon, the purpose of the day was to engage young students in scientific endeavors.

“[We] wanted to host an event that would bring the work that we do in the community back to campus,” Yoon said. “We all have a passion for the sciences and working with younger students, so what better way to inspire students to pursue higher-level education in the STEM field than to invite them to campus?”

The STEM Initiative is a new group created this past year by Yoon and sophomore George Iwaoka to help foster the growth of younger students and children in STEM-related subjects and “encourage higher education,” according to Yoon.
They invited School 29, where they went twice every week this past semester to work on different hands-on lab experiments and workshops, to the Family Science Day event.

Besides inviting School 29 to promote the event, the STEM Initiative also reached out to several different organizations and institutions in the Rochester area.

“We invited our School 29 middle school [students] as well as [reached] out to the Rochester Boys and Girls club, public libraries, YMCAs in the area, and Girl Scouts in the area,” Yoon explained.

For an event in its inaugural year, the attendance was high  approximately one hundred families from across Rochester come to Family Science Day. Many on-campus students and faculty also participated in the activities of the day.

“Not only did we have families, but we also had professors, non-U of R college students, faculty, and even Time Warner Cable [attended],” Yoon said.

Usmani is a member of the class of 2017.

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