STUDENTS FROM Christ Lutheran School in Norfolk learn about engineering by building a robot for Junk Drawer Robotics.

Imagine Now! STEAM and Nebraska Extension (I.N.S.A.N.E.) Science event provided a unique virtual hands-on learning experience for 388 youth from five counties on Oct. 28 and 29. Schools participating included St. John’s from Battle Creek, Christ Lutheran and Bel-Air Elementary from Norfolk, Wisner-Pilger, Osmond Community Schools, Zion Lutheran from Pierce, St. Rose of Lima from Crofton and Summerland Schools from Orchard.

The purpose of the day was to inspire young people to take up studies and careers in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) while sharing the importance of science and its applications.

Coordinator Sarah Polacek, 4-H associate at Nebraska Extension in Madison County, stated, “We need to expose youth to new experiences and help them develop the skills to be successful while sparking an interest in STEAM!”

Throughout the sessions, students in kindergarten through sixth grade participated in hands-on activities that were designed to instill curiosity and critical thinking.

Nebraska Extension staff from across the state taught live sessions featuring Junk Drawer Robotics, MakerSpace activities, GERMS and growing bacteria, Windpower, Exercise science and other projects that applied the scientific method. The keynote speaker was Carly Horstman; educational coordinator with the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, featuring animals from the zoo with her presentation, “Is this Science?”

Materials for all sessions were packaged and delivered to the schools prior to the event so that teachers had no preparation for this event other than to connect online!

This I.N.S.A.N.E. program is part of the Madison County 4-H School Enrichment programs.

In other news

Northeast Community College will celebrate the success of its graduates this month. The college will hold six commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk campus.

WAYNE — More than 600 degrees were awarded to graduates during two separate commencement ceremonies at Wayne State College on Saturday.

KEARNEY — Graduate and undergraduate degrees were conferred for 685 spring graduates at University of Nebraska at Kearney commencement exercises last Friday and Saturday at UNK's Health and Sports Center.