Hot on the heels of a successful first-time science fair, the Osage Nation is preparing for another round of science fair fun with youth from several Osage County public schools.

The second annual Osage Nation STEAM Science Fair is scheduled continues through Friday. The Osage Nation Education Departmentorganizes and hosts the event.

This year the science fair has expanded to include seventh- and eighth-grade students from these participating schools: Bowring, Osage Hills, Avant, Woodland, Barnsdall, Shidler, Skiatook and Pawhuska. ONED extended invitations to all Osage County Schools and hopes to see more schools participating in the years to come. “This year we will have over three hundred students participating,” said Jennifer Holding, ONED STEAM Resource Coordinator.

The science fair is an initiative to promote the mission of the ONED’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Program. Holding added, “With the STEAM Program, we want the children to engage in STEAM concepts regularly by providing activities and resources that emphasize the application of knowledge to real-life situations. The Osage Nation wants to enrich the lives of our children by expanding their opportunities and providing them with the knowledge and skills to explore through STEAM related careers.”

ONED is working in partnership with the Osage Nation Environmental and Natural Resources Department. The Osage Casinos are providing water and snacks for the students and lunch for the judges and volunteers each day. Osage Nation Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear will announce winners the following week on the Osage Nation YouTube channel.

Mary Wildcat, ONED Director, said a strong partnership with area schools with a high enrollment of Osage students benefits all students and that is a win-win for everyone. “Many of our students would love to participate in events, such as this, but do not have the available opportunities in their rural communities. Partnering with the local schools ensures that our Osage students have the chance to not only participate in the event, but to also meet STEAM career professionals, and experience the atmosphere of a science fair. This year we have expanded the fair to include eighth-grade students and we are very excited to see the outcome.”