One of the nation’s largest science festivals for K-12 students  kicked off Saturday with the Super STEM Saturday event at California Sate University San Marcos.

An estimated 5,000 students and parents enjoyed interactive demonstrations and hands-on science activities on the campus in San Marcos, including rocket launches, build-a-robot stations, model displays, scientist chats and a obstacle course.

Super STEM Saturday is designed to expose students of all ages and their families to the diverse and exciting fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as the STEM disciplines.

Other events are scheduled at universities and sponsoring companies throughout the week, culminating in Expo Day at PETCO Park on March 22, as part of the annual San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering. Some 55,000 are expected to attend the events.

In 2009, the National Science Foundation awarded UC San Diego a $3 million grant to fund year-round San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering efforts, as well as help seed festivals in other cities.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.