A young boy gets a close-up look at algae. Photo by Chris Stone
A young boy gets a close-up look at algae. Photo by Chris Stone

With booths like one labeled “Make Your Own Mucus,” EXPO Day at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering had a target demographic. Kids.

Saturday’s free event at Petco Park brought tens of thousands science (and sci-fi) fans out to sample STEM exhibits and “Star Wars”-themed activities.

The annual festival, a 10-day event presented by Illumina, is a program of the BIOCOM Institute in partnership with UC San Diego, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego County Office of Education.

Some 130 hands-on booths and games helped kids and families interact with scientists, STEM professionals, and college students.

Students from the Cajon Valley Union School District shared STEM ideas at a TedXKids@ElCajon session.

Star Wars–Steampunk Universe” hosted a booth where attendees learned how to turn vintage items into visual expressions of their love for the film saga.

The countywide festival’s mission is to engage kids in science and engineering, organizers said, adding:

“By doing this, the nonprofit organization expands the general public’s understanding of the relevancy of science and engineering in everyday lives, illuminates why the United States must maintain its leadership role in science and technology, and work with parents and teachers to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) innovators.”