WestGate@Crane Academy is preparing for its second annual Get Outdoors Day and fifth annual Running for Our Future events.
Director of Business Operations for STIMULUS Engineering Kimberly Frazier stated several new events will be added to Get Outdoors Day this year, and numbers are expected to increase from last year.
“At the first Get Outdoors Day, we had somewhere between 500 and 600 people from across the region attend, which included over 200 attendees in groups,” she said. “To date, we have almost 400 attendees registered in groups for the day, and expect 700 attendees or more.”
One new event will include horseback riding with the Monroe County Saddle Club. Other activities will include inflatables, archery, disc golf and remote controlled planes and drone demonstrations. Activities will be available for both events.
“This is the first time we have partnered the events, carrying over most of the Get Outdoor activities from Friday into Saturday morning,” Frazier said. “We hope runners will bring their families with them and stick around to enjoy some free family fun.”
Among the partners will be the Battery Innovation Center (BIC). According to Chief Operating Officer Ben Wrightsman, taking part in both events is part of a mission to increase awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
“We at the BIC are excited to have chances to provide fun-filled educational opportunities for our surrounding community,” he said. “These events are only two of a series we will continue to support, including the Career and Technical Education Summit, Crane Community Christmas, Team Crane Science Fair and many others.”
Information will be available regarding enrollment in BIC’s Electronics Fundamentals Certification course at both events.
Get Outdoors Day, taking place June 9, began as a way to inform those in attendance of outdoor activities that can be done to engage in a healthy lifestyle while promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). The Running for Our Future 5K, which is the following day, was started by the founder of BIC Captain Chuck LaSota in 2013 as a STEM scholarships fundraiser for high school seniors.
“With the shared focus of STEM, and also because they share the same 24 hour window, it made sense to tie the events together, which will hopefully give more people a chance to enjoy the fun,” Frazier said. “In addition to promoting a healthy lifestyle, these events provide an opportunity to be exposed to activities and technology that may not otherwise be available.”
Scholarships will be awarded in the fall at the WestGate@Crane College Fair. Deadline for early registration is May 26.
Students interesting in applying for STEM scholarships will have an additional incentive to attend the activities, Frazier added.
“Students who attend Get Outdoors Day and/or Running for Our Future will automatically receive five points on their scholarship application,” she said. “In addition, students who participate in the 5K will receive an additional five points.”
Frazier also stated early exposure to STEM could be beneficial for students.
“Employers in the region have a current and growing demand for employees with STEM education and background,” she said. “Early exposure and awareness are one of the ways we can help develop the pipeline.”
Get Outdoors Day will take place from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Running For Our Future will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information regarding the events, or to become a sponsor or volunteer, contact Frazier at 812-863-2756 or emailing email@example.com.