First ever STEM day held at SIU - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

First ever STEM day held at SIU

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CARBONDALE -- Business experts say getting kids to focus on math, science, and engineering is one key to getting a good job after college.

On Saturday, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from around Southern Illinois gathered at SIU for the Carbondale campus's first STEM day.

Scouts were excited for today's event that drew about 150 boys from all over Southern Illinois.

Leaders in K-12 schools and higher education say the STEM program is vital when it comes to keeping students competitive in areas like science, technology, engineering and math.

Scouts from throughout Southern Illinois learned the science of flight by making paper airplanes.

They were taught a class featuring the advanced technology behind the Mars exploration.

They also engineered hovercrafts, made of Styrofoam plates.

It all added up to a successful day of fun and learning.

Cub scout Oliver Wate from Eldorado says he's already looking forward to next year.

"It was the best day ever," said Wate.

"It's fun to see the excitement on the boys' faces and the parents. Since I work for the university, showing off some of the facilities at the university is always a benefit," said Cub Scout leader Michael Hoane.

The workshops also allowed scouts the opportunity to complete merit badges in areas like astronomy, automotive maintenance, aviation, chemistry and First Aid, just to name a few.

Every scout who participated in today's event also got a special patch recognizing their part in SIU's inaugural event.

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