The Waukee Community School District hosted its fourth-annual STEAM Festival on Feb. 27. The festival, which took place at Walnut Hills Elementary School, focused on providing students with the opportunity to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.


“Four years ago, we thought it would be fun to start a STEAM Fest. There are a lot of STEM Fests but we thought art was also important,” STEAM Co-Organizer Joni Gilchrist said.


Attendees of the night’s event could partake in various 5-10 minute hands-on activities, some of which included making salsa using an exercise bike, learning about the human skeleton, experimenting with instruments and test driving a robot.


The STEAM Festival also connected students and families with different local businesses throughout the community such as Dallas County Ag in the Classroom, the Boy Scouts and MidAmerican.


“We have painting with magnets so we are incorporating the science and the arts together,” Gilchrist said. “There are activities here that they can also do at home, and a lot of the exhibitors will talk to them about how it relates to engineering or science.”


The STEAM Festival took place on Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m., and usually sees anywhere between 300 to 500 kids and participants.


“We just wanted to create a fun family event where they could come in and build and explore. It’s really a great event,” STEAM Co-Organizer Sara Emerick said.