STEM is for the children

WSU Society of Women Engineers to host first in-person Kids’ Science and Engineering Day since 2019

Volunteers+at+the+last+in-person+Kids+Science+and+Engineering+Day+walk+participants+through+a+demostration+in+2019.+

COURTESY OF CHRISTI WEBER

Volunteers at the last in-person Kids’ Science and Engineering Day walk participants through a demostration in 2019.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Life editor

The WSU Society of Women Engineers will host its 13th annual Kids’ Science and Engineering Day from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on March 26 in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education. 

SWE Vice President Christi Webster said this year, 35 WSU organizations will be hosting their own science-based activities, similar to a carnival. 

There will be one or two organizations for each classroom in the CUE hosting a variety of activities, Webster said. 

“[The activities include] things from paper airplanes to looking at how pollution works in the water to looking at different types of rocks,” she said. 

SWE President Makenna Mullen said these organizations include the Voiland College of Engineering and the Association of Women in Mathematics, as well as SWE for both WSU and University of Idaho.

Mullen said SWE invites these organizations to come to the event to encourage children in kindergarten through fifth grade to gain an interest in science, engineering and more at a young age. 

Webster said the initial idea of KSED is to help elementary school-aged children in the Palouse get more involved in STEM outside of the classroom because a lot of children tend to get bored when learning about STEM.

“We just want to have a more fun, hands-on way to introduce them to STEM,” she said. “In more recent years, we’ve been getting organizations across WSU involved, so it’s become a really big community event as well.”

In previous years, KSED has gone well, and it has been a great way to connect WSU with the Palouse community, Webster said. 

KSED has received a lot of support from organizations within WSU and the Pullman community, including SEL and ASWSU, as well as the national section of SWE, she said. 

“[KSED] has been able to continue on because we’ve had a lot of support financially and a lot of community support,” Webster said. “Parents definitely look forward to bringing their kids to this event every year.”

Both Mullen and Webster are excited to see the children getting involved because this is the first time KSED will be in person since before the pandemic hit. 

“I’m just really excited to see all the different activities and the kids having fun,” Webster said. “That’s the best part, just hanging out with the kids and doing fun projects with them.”

Mullen said the past in-person events had a lot of children attend and participate in the different activities. 

Last year, KSED was online, so she did not get to see that interaction as much as she had hoped. 

“I’m excited to actually get to see that again,” Mullen said. 

Webster said some children passed the age requirement during the pandemic for the event, so they are invited back if they want to attend one more year of KSED in person. There is a small fee of $5 per child or $10 per family to attend, Webster said. People can register online on eventbrite until 5 p.m. on March 25, or they can show up at the door the day of.