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STEM Saturday to Showcase New Facility to State K-12 Students

January 7, 2016
logo with three pictures of young people engaged in science and math activities
High school, middle school and elementary school students from Wyoming have the opportunity to participate in STEM Saturday, Jan. 23. Students can participate in three hands-on STEM activities, as well as be treated to a free pizza party, a STEM Resource Fair and admission to the UW-Boise State men’s basketball game that evening. (UW Photo)

Before the Michael B. Enzi STEM Facility opens to University of Wyoming students, nearly 200 K-12 students and their parents from many of the state’s elementary, middle and high schools will receive the opportunity to participate in three hands-on science, technology, engineering and math activities in the new facility.

The inaugural STEM Saturday event is scheduled from 1-7 p.m. Jan. 23. In addition to the three STEM activities that run from 1:45-4:15 p.m. in the Enzi STEM Facility, the event includes a free dinner (pizza party) and STEM Resource Fair from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Wyoming Union Ballroom and culminates with the UW men’s basketball game against Boise State at 8 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium. The game is free for registered students, and there is a discounted price for family members.

STEM Saturday is sponsored by the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Department of Athletics.

“The idea with STEM Saturday is to give K-12 students an opportunity to explore what STEM is about and have some fun discovering some science,” says Bryan Shader, UW’s special assistant to the vice president for research and economic development, and a mathematics professor.

Currently, 97 students have signed up, and a total of 176 people, including parents, are expected to attend, says Megan Schnorenberg Candelaria, project coordinator for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Student numbers will be capped at 100 for the inaugural event, she says.

The workshops -- which will be led by UW faculty, staff and students -- are STEM-related and will include some hands-on or interactive component. Groups will consist of 12-15 students, and family members are welcome to attend.

Hands-on sessions include: Fashion to Medicine: Using Code to Change the World; Become a Bubbleologist; A Make-and-Take with the Williams Conservatory; Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium; CAVE: 3D Shell Visualization Center; Wyoming Geology Museum; Stable Isotope Facility; UW Computing Center; Lactation in Mammals: UDDERLY COOL!; and Engineering Robotics Lab.

“We are looking for dynamic presenters who can present at one, two or even all three of the hands-on STEM Saturday sessions,” Shader says. “Although the event is open to K-12 students, students will be grouped by elementary, middle school or high school level, so presenters won’t be presenting to mixed age groups.”

For their participation, presenters will receive a gift card to the University Store, a T-shirt, and free dinner and admission to the basketball game.

“During the pizza party, we will have interactive booths set up from colleges, departments and organizations on campus, so students can get lots of information and swag,” says Shawna McBride, associate director of the NASA Space Grant Consortium and Wyoming EPSCoR. “Before the game, all of the students and parents will meet in the (War Memorial) Fieldhouse, and then go as a group into the stadium. They will have their own section in the Arena-Auditorium, and we plan to have them all wear their T-shirts from the day. We also will have four tables set up, with cool science demos, in the breezeway near the main entrances to the Arena-Auditorium.”

For UW faculty, staff or students interested in presenting a workshop, register at

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