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Visit Iowa Lakes and Northwest Iowa STEM At Third Annual Family Fest

February 28, 2013

Iowa Lakes Community College and the Northwest Iowa STEM Hub will partner with the Clay County Regional Events Center and Positively Spencer Youth to present the Third Annual Family Fest to be held Saturday, March 2.  Show hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the show is FREE and open to the public.  All families are encouraged to attend!
 
Family Fest offers many enjoyable components – all at no charge.    
 
Those attending will be able to experience Safety City, sponsored by Spencer Hospital.  Safety City will feature a fire truck, police cars, an ambulance and tractors.  Local police, fire, and rescue staff will be on-site and Smokey the Bear will make appearances throughout the day.  
 
The show will also feature several exhibits on display for families to browse through.  The exhibits will range from local businesses to local sports organizations.  
 
In addition, children can also enjoy inflatables, and an activity and demonstration stage.  The stage will feature Midwest Piano students, a Hy-Vee food demonstration, story time with Sarah Beth from the Spencer Library, and animal displays from Clay County Conservation. 
 
Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to experience an Ag Safety and Learning area which will include equipment used on farms and acreages.  Staff from Iowa State University Extension Clay County will lead hands-on activities which will provide safety awareness to youth who ‘live and play’ in rural Iowa.    
 
Spencer Hospital will present information on medication safety, child seat safety and the hospital’s CAMPS pediatric rehabilitation program.  Families can learn through hands-on activities and contests to learn more about safety issues.
 
New to Family Fest this year is a partnership with Iowa Lakes Community College and the Northwest Iowa STEM Hub to offer a STEM “festival” within the Family Fest event.  
 
Professors from Iowa Lakes will be on hand to engage young people in fun activities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  A DNA model, microscopes, skulls, a bovine heart, a model roller coaster, and helium filled air swimmers are among the exciting hands-on activities and displays that will be available for families to experience!  
 
The STEM Festival section of Saturday’s event will be led by STEM Hub Manager Kari Webb.  She will be joined by Professor “Doc” Klepper, Associate Professor Brian Bristow, Assistant Professor Kyle Norris, Associate Professor Eric Olson, and Assistant Professor Mark Zabawa.  They hope to excite young people with different hands-on projects so that they realize their own potential in a STEM career.  
 
“Efforts are under way statewide to stimulate the minds of young people so that they realize they can pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – and have a very successful career in one of those areas,” said Webb.  “I think that once students participate in some of these activities, they will be encouraged to follow a STEM career.”
 
Spencer Municipal Utilities is also joining the STEM “festival” to offer STEM activities related to the industry.  SMU will provide displays to locate utilities underground, see inside a transformer, and determine an underground water leak.  
 
Scott Hallgren, General Manager for VenuWorks, at the Clay County Regional Events Center encourages all families to attend.  
 
“Please join us for Family Fest and come out and have a fun-filled day and enjoy the opportunity to spend some quality family time together,” Hallgren said.  
 
The event was created as a way the Clay County Regional Events Center could give back to the community and supporters. 
 
“We sincerely appreciate all the support we receive throughout the year from the residents and businesses throughout Spencer and northwest Iowa, and certainly understand this facility was built with a combination of private dollars through the generous contributions of many donors – as well as public dollars,” said Hallgren.  
 
He also thanked the partners in this event.  They include: Positively Spencer Youth, STEM Northwest Iowa Region, Iowa Lakes Community College, Farmers Bank of Spencer, Spencer Hospital and Community Bank & Insurance.
 
And, an event like this would not be possible without other assistance.
 
“The Family Fest committee volunteers have been great to work with and we appreciate their commitment to youth and families,” Hallgren added.
 
If anyone is interested in being an exhibitor at the show, there are still opportunities available.  Please contact Amanda Doar at the Clay County Regional Events Center at 712-580-3000.  For further information on the show, check out the Events Center website at www.spencerevents.com or contact the Events Center at 712-580-3000.  
 
Questions or comments? Please email us at info@iowalakes.edu or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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