A drone flew overhead, robots wheeled around the gym and kids helped build a pipe organ during Umpqua Community College’s STEAM Extravaganza and Solar Walk event Saturday.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The event provided students with activities in all five different fields, in hopes that they will develop a passion for one of the subjects and expand their minds.

Sarah Hobert said she came to the event because it’s really kid-oriented and hands on.

She was explaining to her 2-year-old Louis that the one-person plane modeled at the event was actually pretty small and that there are planes that can fit hundreds of people.

Wearing small blue Crocs, Louis wandered over to the other side of the plane.

While Hobert said her son is a little young to get most of the projects, she said she wants to get him interested in the topics.

Inside the gym, balls called “Spheros” rolled around on the floor, changing colors and causing visitors to watch their step.

Ryan Zeedyk, a STEM coach, said the little balls are designed to teach kids how to code.

He said the devices pair with smartphones or tablets and users can draw patterns that the ball will follow on the ground.

Zeedyk said students as young as kindergarten aged can learn to use them.

Daniel and Ariel Owen brought their nearly 2-year-old daughter Grace to Saturday’s event.

“She’s pretty little, but we thought we’d see what there is for her here,” Daniel Owen said.

The family was playing with colorful magnetic triangles, shaping them into a pyramid and creating other shapes.

The Owens, who are both teachers, said it’s an event they’d want to bring Grace back to in a few years.

Outside of the Jacoby Auditorium, Cindy Ferguson was helping students assemble a pipe organ.

The retired music teacher said building the musical instrument is a combination of science, engineering and art.

She said the pipe organ came in a kit in which students have to assemble each individual piece.

“There’s lots of fine tuning involved,” Ferguson said.

The event was coordinated by Douglas County Partners for Student Success and the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub.

Saphara Harrell can be reached at 541-957-4216 or sharrell@nrtoday.com. Or on Twitter @daisysaphara.

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Crime and Natural Resources Reporter

Saphara Harrell is the crime and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She previously worked at The World in Coos Bay. Follow her on Twitter @daisysaphara.

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