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Wetlands Center offers summer science for youth
Courtesy photo: Visitors at a pollinator-themed Drop-In STEM dissect flowers, learning how a seed is formed, in this undated file photo.

Building a stomp rocket, constructing a kaleidoscope and taking a Zoom-powered photo are among the activities created by Fort Hays State University’s Kansas Wetlands Education Center to entertain and educate budding young scientists over the summer. 

The KWEC will host Drop-In STEM and Raspberry Pi Jams for students who would like to get involved with the environment and technology. Admission is free and equipment will be provided. 

The KWEC is located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend along K-156 at Cheyenne Bottoms. Most of the activities will be outdoors. CDC guidelines will be followed, and events are subject to change, depending on COVID-19 conditions. 

Drop-In STEM – noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 24. Roller coasters, bubbles, water balloons, sunshine, and snakes – all vital components for having a great summer. Join KWEC staff and volunteers and explore the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) around some of the greatest summer pastimes. Participants will also construct a nature kaleidoscope, build a stomp rocket, and meet some classroom critters. 

Drop-In STEMS are quarterly activities offered at KWEC. They are non-formal activities designed to immerse visitors in STEM with a nature twist. Families will travel to several stations completing hands-on activities. Come prepared to be outdoors. This is a free, come-and-go activity. 

Raspberry Pi Jams – 1:30 to 3 p.m. Aug. 4-6 and Aug. 11-13. Use the tiny Raspberry Pi computers and program them with an environmental science twist. Time-lapse seeds growing, make a trail cam to see who visits the KWEC at night, program lights to imitate a firefly, and construct PiNoculars that can take a Zoom-powered picture! Registration for the Raspberry Pi Jams is required before July 29. Sign up as soon as possible, as spots are limited. 

To register, call 877-243-9268 or email Mandy Kern, KWEC Program Specialist, at For more information, visit