STEM Night at the Park

It was a beautiful night for kids on September 3rd, 2021 for the Storm Chasers game at Werner Park. Prairie STEM could be found all around the park as part of a STEM scavenger hunt. Our Prairie STEM trailer was one of the first things people spotted when they walked in the front gate. Prairie STEM staff and a JuSTEMagine volunteer from Brownell Talbot, Jack, were busy unloading our STEM Kits out of the trailer, and handing them to every child at the park who came to our booth as a last stop on the hunt. We were able to give away 400 educational, hands-on STEM Kits that were generously funded by Facebook, to get STEM into the hands of children across our metro. Butterfly Robot was our specialty lesson for the evening representing the butterfly art project in Papillion.  Nick Clark, of Prairie STEM, was the artist for the Butterfly project and our Butterfly Robot. He was found in the same area tonight as Nathan VanZante and his amazing science demonstrations. Our STEM Kits are aligned to state and national standards and can be found here Virtual STEAM Lessons.

Another engaging area for STEM-loving kids who came to the park was the collection of robots. Kids were able to drive STEMBoTs and Kamigami Robots in a robot racecourse.  Thank you to the UNO STEM Stars, Erica, Rebekah, Chloe, and Justine! They jumped right in and helped out with kids and robots. It was crazy busy, but everyone had so much fun! In addition to driving robots, kids were also able to look at the wide variety of other robots in a display that we use in classrooms.

In the large Hy-Vee tent, a group of Marian students was demonstrating NeuroTrainer on the Oculus. These students have been working directly with NeuroTrainer and did a fabulous job explaining how much using this program improves eye-hand coordination, brain development, measures cognitive abilities, and stimulates neural pathways. Maggie was amazing in her enthusiasm and NeuroTrainer knowledge, that she communicated it all so well. Guests were able to put on the goggles and go through the demo to see how this virtual reality program works.  Z-space was also in the Hy-Vee tent.  It is an educational company that uses 3D programs as a learning tool.  Z-space provides a hands-on, experiential learning experience in science, math, and other STEAM content areas. Guests were able to use the pen attachment and run through some demo programs using the 3D glasses.

Across the park was another Prairie STEM interactive area, where visitors learned superpower science which all about magnetism with Thor’s Hammer. Nathan Van Zante, our middle school science teacher, amazed the crowds with his incredible affinity for combining the magic of science with hands-on demonstrations. Thank you to Ansh, a JuSTEMagine volunteer, who has helped Nathan on a couple of occasions.

A short walk from Nathan’s science demonstrations was yet another area for NeuroTrainer with Oculus. Prairie STEM employees, along with more Marian students were demonstrating NeuroTrainer and helping people use the demo program to see themselves in a virtual world. Thank you to Francis, a UNO volunteer, who had a busy weekend with Prairie STEM events.

Thank you to Aanya, from JuSTEMagine, who captured all the activities on camera and was immensely helpful everywhere.

Werner Park hit STEM out of the park providing such a great venue for us to showcase all things STEM.  A huge thank you to the Storm Chasers and Facebook for helping us hit a homerun with STEM!

Thank you to all of our volunteers! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Prairie STEM’s new Mobile STEM Lab
Stacks of STEM Kits, Jen, Jack unloading STEM Kits.
Line for STEM Kits
Robot Course
JuSTEMagine and Michael

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