STEAMfest Helps Connect Kids and Learning

Youth got to explore and learn the da Vinci Xi Robotic Surgical System from Mahaska Health Partnership at STEAMfest 2017.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Building minds to help innovate and build the future is the premise behind STEAM.

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. The arts were added to STEM, in order to provide a more rounded learning experience.

The ISU Extension Office offered STEAMfest 2017 at the Musco Technology Center on the campus of William Penn University on Saturday. This was the second offering of the program, with the first ever STEAMfest being held at the ISU Extension office building.

Amy Brainard, Mahaska County Youth Coordinator for the ISU Extension office in Mahaska County, said that the first event held in 2015 demonstrated that the space was too small for the event. Brainard and the ISU Extension office then partnered with William Penn University to host this year’s event.

Brainard said that STEAM is important to ISU Extension because, “4-H and development is an important development area, so providing any kind of service where kids are getting engaged in that area is our number one priority. Making sure those kids have something that is positive, is fun and hands on, engaging, and yet they are still learning, and yet not knowing that they are learning, is kind of the key to getting that interest built in STEAM.”

Brainard said that ISU Extension offers programming for those in kindergarten through 12th grade, offering positive activities to keep youth engaged. One of those programs offered is Lego League Jr., which involves students in kindergarten through 3rd grade.

The Lego League Jr. Expo exposes youth to basic robotics and helps to build that foundation for the next level of Lego League, which feeds its participants into the high school robotics teams.

You can find out more by visiting the ISU Extension website HERE –

Additional reporting by Ken Allsup.

Posted by on Apr 14 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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