Georgia Northwestern Technical College Hosts Kids STEM Festival | Local News
More than 200 children turned out for the second Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Kids STEM Festival on Thursday, March 16 at the Whitfield Murray campus in Dalton.
The free event was open to everyone. GNTC encouraged students to bring their children to participate in fun and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning activities.
“Several children from K-12 schools in the area attended the event and came away extremely excited with a GNTC book bag filled with lots of supplies and activities to take home and play with,” said Daizha Staples, GNTC Special Populations Coordinator. “With the number of attendees far exceeding last year’s Kids STEM show in Calhoun, I can proudly say that we have been able to enrich the lives of more families in Dalton.”
Instructors and students from GNTC’s Early Childhood Care and Education program organized activities such as making a lava lamp out of household items, making a tambourine out of cardboard and bells, creating a suncatcher with a plastic cup and practicing math skills. There were also snacks and games, as well as a backpack full of activities given to participants.
Staff from the PBS Kids division of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) were special guests at the event.
“We want to have a presence at Dalton even though we don’t actively work here, so we were happy to participate when asked,” said Ambria King, GPB Early Learning Specialist.
The goal of this event was to provide STEM development activities to increase learning in Northwest Georgia. Science, technology, engineering and math are foundational components of several GNTC degree programs, which contribute to workforce development for the counties served by GNTC, Staples said.
“My son wanted to come for the PBS Kids activities,” explained Tiffany Woodring, who went from table to table with him to explore the learning activities.
His son, Trealyn Williams, said he was a sophomore who loved math. He is currently studying time, the metric system and standard measures.
Welding instructor Brandon Johnson was one of several GNTC faculty members who brought their children. He said his son wanted to enjoy the atmosphere and play games.
The event also inspired K-12 educators with fun and innovative ways to include STEM activities in their classrooms, Staples said.
“The event activities and materials were funded through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) Two Generation Innovation Grant (TGIG) at GNTC,” it said. she stated. “The grant is used to support student-parents and to implement in-person events, workshops, on-campus activities and community partnership outreach opportunities.”
The first 100 participants received a free meal card from Chick-fil-A. The first 150 kids received free GNTC school bags filled with fun activities to take home.
Staples said another Kids STEM event will be held at the Floyd County campus in Rome at a date and time to be determined.
For more information, contact Staples at (706) 291-3362 or [email protected].