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STEM Quest at OCC to offer hands-on learning, robots and rockets

Sure, making pancakes with a 3D printer and assembling Snap Circuits kits into electronics sounds like fun, but wouldn’t it be cool to know the mechanics behind making those pancakes or how those kits come to life from parts and pieces?

A daylong STEM QUEST event November 10 at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Campus, 2900 Featherstone Road, will provide answers to these questions and a more.  The event, open to Scouts and non-Scouts, will let young people interact with staff from businesses and organizations such as Legoland, Magformers and the Michigan Science Center.

Kevin M. Bratton, Ph.D., dean of social sciences and human services at OCC, said the college’s collaboration with the Boy Scouts was driven by the need to expose more young people to fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, Magformers will demonstrate principles of conceptual geometry using materials other than paper, pens and calculators.

Participants will get hands-on training in STEM areas such as building cars for a Lego Pinewood Derby, using pieces of fruit to learn how parts of coding communicate with each other, and seeing what underwater robotics is all about.

“With the economy growing at one of the fastest rates of all time, employers are lacking highly skilled workers,” Bratton said.  “OCC and the Scouts are partnering together to produce an event that introduces students to STEM disciplines as well as to the college’s high-tech programs, where  students can develop their skills and earn a degree or certificate for successful entry into the workforce.”

Said Eric Suender, STEM executive with the Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America, “We were very intentional in making sure that each activity offered will give our participants hands-on learning under the direction of experts in their fields.”

The activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.  Suender said participants should bring a sack lunch or snacks and water if they plan to stay for the entire day.

The cost of STEM QUEST is $10 per person. To register, visit the Michigan Crossroads Council website.

For additional information, contact Suender at Eric.Suender@scouting.org or call (517) 885-3618.

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