Virtual STEM Festival features Flying Friends and Foes

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Students will get the opportunity to build a Bug Hotel in the virtual presentation “Flying Friends and Foes,” one of the many sessions being offered through the upcoming Mineral County Virtual STEM Festival, Saturday, March 13. To register for this free event, visit mineralstem.com/register.
Students will learn the colorful characteristics of the adult Spotted Lanternfly by creating one through origami as part of the “Flying Friends and Foes” session to be offered through the upcoming Mineral County Virtual STEM Festival, Saturday, March 13. To register for this free event, visit mineralstem.com/register.

KEYSER - “Flying Friends and Foes” is just one of the engaging topics to be offered during the Mineral County Virtual STEM Festival on Saturday, March 13.

Presenters will share hands-on activities about pollinators and the Spotted Lanternfly.

Have you ever wondered what makes a pollinator so important? Bees, beetles, butterflies, birds, and bats are all amazing pollinators.  Join us virtually to learn how pollinators complete their important work of transferring pollen from plant to plant. Participants will pretend to be pollinators and use their fingers to transfer pollen through a fun Cheetos activity.

“Next, we will dive into creating bug friendly bug hotels out of recycled materials to create happy homes for these insects to thrive,” says Susan Parker with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Youth Environmental Program.  “Creating an insect friendly habitat is an important part of supporting pollinators. Collect your paper rolls, paper and cardboard scraps, and leaves and let your creativity run wild as we build together.”

Finally, participants will learn about how to identify the invasive pest -- the Spotted Lanternfly.

“The Spotted Lanternfly is a beautiful but harmful pest to important trees and plants of West Virginia,” says Kristin Wickert, West Virginia Department of Agriculture. Learn how to identify and report any sightings of these pest to help save the day.  Participants will learn the colorful characteristics of the adult Spotted Lanternfly by creating it through Origami.

Participation in this event is easy through Zoom. Simply sign up today at mineralstem.com/register. Once registered families will receive the zoom link, session times, topic descriptions, and a materials list. Most sessions will involve hands-on activities with simple materials easily available.

“The Community Trust Foundation (CTF) provided seed funding to help establish this collaboration that benefits area youths through compelling and exciting hands on STEM activities,” says Miltenberger.

CTF is committed to building stronger communities in Allegany, Garrett, and Mineral counties by providing administrative services and financial management to philanthropic funds. For more information on contributing to an existing fund or establishing a new charitable fund, please call 301-876-9172 or email info@ctfinc.org.

For regular updates on the STEM Festival like https://www.facebook.com/MineralCountySTEM. If you have questions call the WVU Mineral County Extension Office at 304-788-3621.