Kentucky State University’s Land Grant Program invites people of all ages for a day of hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and agriculture. STEM Day will be held Saturday, July 14 at the University’s Aquaculture Research Center in Frankfort.

Play with penguins and sharks from the Newport Aquarium’s WAVE Foundation. Learn about the DNA of a strawberry and make rainbow milk with Alltech. Create fish paintings, plant seedlings, fly a drone, and walk through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s education trailer. The event is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with indoor and outdoor tours and activities.

STEM Day is part of a grant Kentucky State University received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2017. The grant helps Kentucky State provide Kentucky high school students with education and hands-on demonstrations to deepen their understanding of STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—fields, specifically as they relate to agriculture and aquaculture.

Ken Thompson, Extension associate and the principle investigator on the grant, is already working with seven high schools across the state on agriculture and aquaculture STEM education and will add more schools in 2018 and 2019. Participating schools include Western Hills High School (Frankfort), Boyd County High School (Ashland), Trinity High School (Louisville), Mason County High School (Maysville), Clay County High School (Manchester), Harrison County High School (Cynthiana) and Carroll County High School (Carrollton).

STEM Day is an opportunity for Kentucky State to partner with Alltech and the WAVE Foundation to help broaden the community’s knowledge of educational and career opportunities in agricultural sciences. Other state organizations, including the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, will also provide hands-on learning opportunities.

Kentucky State’s Aquaculture Research Center is a 14-acre research, education and Cooperative Extension facility that includes a production operation, nutrition and fish disease labs, more than 36 research ponds and more. Research projects include work with koi, largemouth bass, paddlefish, freshwater and saltwater prawns, aquaponics and tilapia. Kentucky State offers the only full-service research, academic, and Extension service in aquaculture in Kentucky and is one of the top five programs in the country. The Aquaculture Research Center is located at 103 Athletic Road, Frankfort, Kentucky.