“The purpose of the event is to infuse children with the love of STEM – science, technology, education and math,” said John Hutchens, the director of special programs with the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center and coordinator for the 27th annual Science Education Enrichment Day (S.E.E.D.) at the University of South Carolina Aiken.
A record crowd of 3,300 people attended last year’s event, said Hutchens, who hopes to draw at least that many this year.
More than 60 exhibitors including corporations, nonprofit organizations and educational groups will be represented at S.E.E.D., providing multiple hands-on learning experiences for children.
“The idea is to get kids excited about real-world science,” he said. “We hope it will grab their interest.”
Though it is open to all ages, the targeted population is fourth through eighth grades, he said.
There are about 10 new exhibitors this year including the Aiken Beekeepers Association, which will bring an enclosed hive and beekeeping paraphernalia.
Returning exhibitors include Kimberly-Clark Corp. and its papermaking project, Cytec Corp. and slime, and the South Carolina Aquarium and the Ruth Patrick Science Center and its menagerie of animals. Other exhibits explore the worlds of robotics, fossils and astronomy.
S.E.E.D. will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of South Carolina Aiken campus, and it is free. For more details, visit rpsec.usca.edu/SEED or facebook.com/SEEDevent.