PCEC Invites Community Members to Engage in STEM Activities During Confluence Festival
September 30, 2021
Last weekend, the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing participated in the inaugural Confluence Festival in downtown Grand Rapids. The Confluence Festival was designed as a “convergence of Art, Music, Science, & Tech. [to] introduce the public to the remarkable high-tech innovation currently underway throughout our region.”
PCEC participated in two separate events: the Innovation Showcase and the Future Innovators Zone. As part of the Innovation Showcase, Ryan Aldridge, Operations Manager for the GVSU Innovation Design Center, demonstrated some of the rapid prototyping technology that PCEC students have access to while developing class projects and research. In the Future Innovators Zone, Sara Maas, Director of K-12 & Community Outreach, and a team of GVSU student volunteers, helped festival attendees build Infinity Cube fidget toys.
"It was great to be out and able to connect with the community," said Maas. "Especially given our limited ability to interact with K-12 students last year due to Covid."
PCEC hopes to reconnect with K-12 schools and students this year now that more in-person activities are occurring across the state.
"Engaging with students around STEM early is so important in sparking their interest in STEM careers," explained Maas. "When students see the amazing things that we can do with science and technology, they want to be a part of it."