The Iowa Department for the Blind is hosting its first STEM festival on Saturday, February 29, from 2:00-4:00 P.M. The whole community is invited to learn from area professionals and check out educational and career opportunities.
The STEM fest relates to Iowa Department for the Blind’s mission statement by exposing our students to STEM career paths to give them the opportunity to be gainfully employed and live an independent life.
SC STEM Hub Manager, Sarah Derry, noted that there is an achievement gap in mathematics and science for students with disabilities. “Iowa needs innovators from diverse backgrounds. Events like this not only empower future STEMists with accessible experiences to ignite their interest, but they also show parents and employers what all kids can do in an inclusive environment.”
In partnership with the SC STEM Hub, 16 local exhibitors will feature interactive learning activities, hands-on demonstrations and fun make-and-takes. All booths strive to connect students with STEM post-secondary options and careers. The event is free, open to the public, and features universal design, making it accessible to all audiences. Exhibitors include:
- Drake STEM
- FIRST Lego League 47081: Eco-Squirrels
- FIRST Tech Challenge 6103: JHS
- Friends of Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled
- Follmann—William Penn University
- Garrett—William Penn University
- Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation
- Iowa Council United Blind
- Iowa Department for the Blind
- Iowa Library for the Blind
- Iowa PBS
- ISU Extension & Outreach Polk County 4-H
- John Deere—Ottumwa
- National Federation of the Blind of Iowa
- NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador Volunteer
- Science Center of Iowa
We hope students attending the STEM fest will gain greater access to STEM topics as well as showcasing STEM careers. The event will be held at the Iowa Department for the Blind, 524 4th Street in Des Moines. Parking is free for festival attendees. Follow signs to the lot just north of the building. The first 150 students will receive a free drawstring bag.