Oakley STEM Center offers interactive programs for children and families

Posted by Lori Shull - Wednesday, August 31 2011
lshull@tntech.edu

thumb STEM_group_workshopTennessee Tech University's Millard Oakley STEM Center this fall will offer exciting, interactive hands-on programs for children and their families. Students in grades four through 12 can participate in STEM FAB Fridays. Younger learners in preschool through third grade are invited to STEM Safari Saturdays.

FAB Fridays are fun, interactive experiences for children and their parents or guardians to explore hands-on technology, science and engineering equipment and activities. Visitors can play with science and learn to use microscopes, understand the physics of bumper cars and rotate through a variety of other learning stations and activities.

"FAB Fridays are community access experiences focused on introducing, engaging and enlightening kids and families while they learn and grow together," said Sally Pardue, Oakley STEM Center director.

University, student and professional organizations will sponsor the Friday evening events throughout the year. The first FAB Friday will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 16 and is sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers.

"The FAB Friday program is an excellent opportunity for students to gain inspiration and develop ideas for the 58th Annual Cumberland Plateau Regional Science & Engineering Fair," Pardue said.

The regional fair will be hosted by the Oakley STEM Center in March.

During 2011-12, FAB Fridays happen on Sept. 16, Oct. 7, Nov. 18, Feb. 3, Feb. 24 and March 16.

The STEM Safari Saturday program, first introduced in the fall of 2010, invites young children and their families, as well as older siblings, to participate in a variety of engaging learning activities.

Safari Saturdays will kick of the 2011-12 schedule from 1 to 4 p.m. on Oct. 29 with "Bodacious Bones." Other Saturday Safaris will be offered on Dec. 3, Feb. 18 and April 14.

Visitors will explore a variety of real animal bones, sort and graph bones, look for patterns in bones, learn about the properties of bones, search for bones in owl pellets and learn names for the bones in the human skeleton.

Admission to both programs is free but reservations are required.

Families may make reservations at the Oakley STEM Center's website. Parents or guardians must accompany and remain with their children during the programs.

For more information about the Oakley STEM Center and its programs, visit www.tntech.edu/stem or call Christina Hatley at 931-372-6573.