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Emily Willis/Hickory Daily Record: A young visitor tries his hand at the robotic arm manipulator in one of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's interactive trailers on Saturday.

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Emily Willis/Hickory Daily Record: Lucy Lelewski, 3, sees how centrifugal forces work as she spins the centrifuge machine in one of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's interactive trailers on Saturday.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) brought their six interactive trailers to the second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Trek! Science Festival at Catawba Science Center and the SALT Block on Friday and Saturday.

“We brought about 40 scientists and researchers with us to talk to kids about STEM career fields,” Wade Creswell, community relations manager for ORNL, said.

The themes of the trailers included: Become a Neutron, Extreme Science, Get into Green, Tiny Atoms...Big Science, What's Your Problem? and Supporting Research.

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Emily Willis/Hickory Daily Record: Caroline Eggers, 10, works to build a structure out of pool noodles during the second annual STEM Trek! Science Festival on Saturday.

Although there was a slight chance of rain on Saturday, some folks braved the forecast and walked through each trailer and visited with local organizations and businesses.

“The key is to get kids excited about science, because at some point that’s what happened to everybody who works at ORNL,” Creswell said.

For more information about ORNL, visit www.ornl.gov. For additional details about STEM West programs, visit the Western Piedmont Council of Governments site at www.wpcog.org/stem-west.

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Emily Willis is a general assignment reporter at the Hickory Daily Record. 

 

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