MASON CITY, Iowa - From getting your hair to stand up, to learning the anatomy of the human body, and even taking a ride on a virtual rollercoaster, there was something for everyone at this year's STEM Festival at NIAAC.
Marley Mosher of Northwood and her two sisters were some of the many people that came to check out what's available, and noted one part she liked.
"Probably the chemistry lab."
They're taking advantage of the hands-on event, with the goal of encouraging more kids their age to consider a career in the STEM fields. In fact, they have astronomy and science professions in their family, something they would like to pursue as a career choice.
"Not everybody will know what they want to do automatically. It's good to find out what you'd want to do sooner so you could study it more", her sister Lexy adds.
Even the adults, including a first grade teacher, are getting in on the fun.
"They had a lava lamp station where kids could build their own lava lamps and take them with them," Hollie Schoneman adds.
Over the last few years, the emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math has become increasingly present in career fields and curriculum in schools. NIACC Physics instructor Andreas Soemadi has been seeing more kids get interested in STEM, and it's shown at state competitons.
"Now, it's multiplied like crazy."
"It's an avenue to make a living if you wish. As an educator, I just like it if somebody can enjoy the world of science."
But for anyone that may be considering a career in STEM, Soemadi advises those to brush up on their math skills
"Sometimes, the mathematics could cause you to not like science. I hope that never happens to you. However, that's the language of science."
Festival organizers predict this year's turnout was well over 700 people, up from the inaugural event last year.