Kids get hands-on experience with science at EC Co. Fair

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EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WEAU) - Sunday was the last day of the Eau Claire County Fair, but it wasn't just about eating cotton candy and seeing animals for kids. Demonstrations of science and technology gave them a chance to explore and learn with hands-on activities.

Award winning livestock, plants and crafts were on display at the Eau Claire County Fair in its last day, but for these kids, science took center stage.

“Kids absolutely love it, their eyes light up when they get a chance to see all the things are involved in the stem fields,” UWEC associate dean of students Jodi Thesing-Ritter said.

“It's one thing if you're looking at a text book or sitting in class and you wonder why this stuff matters, this allows you to see why it matters and what you can do with it. And how it can apply to their everyday lives,” UWEC Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) admissions counselor Creanna Cote said.

As part of the UWEC STEM day, there was a robotic ball launcher, made by a club at Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran High School.

“We use air power to pull back our cross bow, then fire it and it's able to reset itself,” robotics “Team Tobar” member Christopher Stratton said.

“I think it's a pretty cool machine,” seven-year-old Leah Luedtke said. “I think it's a pretty cool machine too,” Keegan Luedtke, five, said.

There were several opportunities to learn through experience.

“We hope that today kids will see something that ignites a passion in them, whether they like science or not, we hope that they'll begin to think about science as something that drives our world. So whether they're looking at a TV screen and figuring out how that works, or doing an actual science experiment,” Thesing-Ritter said.

“It's a great effort to get students involved in technology early on. It will help them in the future to get into those careers and to go to college and create new things, new technology that nobody's seen before,” Stratton said.

It's something Leah and Keegan Luedtke already had in mind.

“I really like to make inventions,” Leah said. “I really like to make inventions too,” Keegan said.

The STEM day was put on by staff, volunteers, and students at UW Eau Claire and the Eau Claire County U.W. Extension.

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