The Engineering and Aviation Science Complex lobby at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore was lined with an interest-grabbing array of interactive activities at UMES Extension’s 4-H STEM Festival November 12 as part of greater Maryland STEM Festival efforts.  Aimed at getting youth K-12 interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in addition to agriculture, the free event drew 116 participants and their family members.

Attendees in a wide age range hailing from the Tri-State area enjoyed hands-on activities and giveaways from some 20 community and campus organizations.  Among those represented were: NASA Wallops Flight Facility Education Center, Wicomico County Recreation & Parks, Assateague State Park under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Worcester County 4-H under the University of Maryland Extension, Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, Y.E.E.S W.E. C.A.N., and UMES’ School of Pharmacy and Health Professions and departments of Agriculture, Food and Resource Sciences, Computer Science and Engineering, and Natural Sciences, including the Student Chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

Youth got to look at zooplankton in a microscope, feel shark teeth, operate remote controlled sphere robots and VEX robots, explore pharmacology, try to eat like a bird, watch a physics demonstration, guess what’s in the box, explore nutrition making a smoothie on a blender bike, and win a strawberry plant by answering a research poster quiz, among other hands-on activities.

Gail Stephens, agricultural communications and media associate, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, UMES Extension, , 410-621-3850.

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