Science here, science there, science everywhere in Santa Rosa

North Bay Science Discovery Day drew an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday|

It was a very good day for STEM. The North Bay Science Discovery Day drew more than 10,000 people to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday for a no-holds-barred exploration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

More than 100 professionally staffed exhibits — each one guided by a question because “science inquiry promotes exploration and learning” — spread among five buildings offered youth and their families opportunities to get up close and personal with why and how things works. At one, presented by Medtronics — the medical device manufacturer that was a main sponsor of the day — eventgoers inserted stents into a life-size mannequin’s heart valve.

Elsewhere, among thick crowds that at times required elbows to get through, STEM enthusiasts of all ages launched construction paper rockets; examined a pig’s heart; studied bats; looked for invisible waves; and pondered what to do with an extra 20 years of life. It was the 12th year of the fair, which has as its mission: “To spark young people’s wonder and curiosity about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); to strengthen the San Francisco North Bay’s STEM learning ecosystem; and to connect the STEM industry, education, and public sectors to deepen and sustain young people’s STEM learning.”

“Seeing the excitement and the joy on the kids faces as they participated in the activities that we had available for them makes it worthwhile for all of us,” said Mike Roa of Sebastopol, a retired teacher who is on the event’s volunteer organizing committee.

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