More than 200 children turned out for Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) second Kids STEM Festival on Thursday, March 16, at the Whitfield Murray Campus in Dalton.
The free event was open to everyone. GNTC encouraged students to come with their children to engage in fun learning and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities.
“Several kids from K-12 schools in the surrounding area attended the event and left extremely excited with a GNTC bookbag filled with many supplies and activities to take home and play with,” said Daizha Staples, GNTC’s Special Populations coordinator. “With attendance numbers far exceeding last year’s Kid’s STEM Fair held in Calhoun, I can proudly say we were able to enrich the lives of more families in Dalton.”
GNTC’s Early Childhood Care and Education program instructors and students hosted activities such as making a lava lamp with household items, crafting a tambourine from paper plates and jingle bells, creating a suncatcher with a plastic cup, and practicing math skills. There were also snacks and games, as well as a backpack full of activities given to participants.
Georgia Public Broadcasting’s (GPB) PBS Kids division staff were special guests at the event.
“We want to have a presence in Dalton even though we are not actively working here, so we were glad to participate when we were asked,” said Ambria King, GPB Early Learning specialist.
The goal behind this event was to provide developmental STEM activities to increase learning in northwest Georgia. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are key fundamentals of several GNTC programs of study, which aid in workforce development for the counties we serve, Ms. Staples said.
“My son wanted to come for the PBS Kids activities,” explained Tiffany Woodring, who went from table to table with him to explore the various learning activities.
Her son, Trealyn Williams, said he is a second-grader who loves math. He is currently learning about time, the metric system and standard measurements.
Welding instructor Brandon Johnson was one of several GNTC faculty members who brought their children to the event. He said his son wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and to play games.
The event also inspired educators in grades kindergarten through 12 with fun and innovative ways to include STEM activities in their classrooms, Ms. Staples said.
“The activities and materials for the event were funded through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning’s (DECAL) Two-Generation Innovation Grant (TGIG) to GNTC,” she said. “The grant is being used to support student parents and to implement in-person events, workshops, campus activities and community partnership outreach opportunities.”
The first 100 participants received a free meal card from Chick-fil-A. The first 150 kids received free GNTC bookbags filled with fun activities to take home.
Ms. Staples said another Kids STEM event will be held at the Floyd County Campus in Rome on a date and time to be determined later.
For more information, contact Daizha Staples, GNTC’s Special Populations coordinator, at 706 291-3362 or email@example.com.