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STEMfest celebrates five-year anniversary with record crowd

October 20, 2014

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that STEMfest is a blast for children of all ages.

With a record crowd of more than 7,500 visitors, NIU’s annual mega-sized science fair celebrated the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math in grand fashion at the Convocation Center Saturday, Oct. 18.

The five-year anniversary of STEMfest featured exhibits from 25 of NIU’s STEM departments. Participants were treated to hands-on activities and interactive demonstrations, as well as informative talks presented by experts and regional businesses.

Among the event speakers were NASA Ambassador Joel Knapper and Richard Alley, a world-renowned geologist and author.

Alley, who hosted the PBS miniseries, “Earth: The Operators’ Manual,” and penned a book by the same name, said that STEMfest introduces young minds to what the future may have in store for them.

“Science, technology, engineering and math build the things that make us well off,” Alley said. “They build the things that keep us alive. They invent and learn – and it’s fun. And STEMfest is celebrating this and showing to the next generation what’s available to them.”

STEMfest is hosted by NIU STEM Outreach and the P-20 Center, which strive to inspire today’s students to become the next wave of STEM innovators.