On February 8th, the Connector team hosted the second annual Columbia Young Scientists (CYS) Expo. The Expo featured examples of local and university scientists who provided demos and informational presentations for all ages. From exploring virtual environments with the iLab to handling snakes and lizards with the MU Herpetological Society, attendees experienced a diverse range of scientific disciplines. This event was sponsored by Boone Electric, REDI, and Veterans United.

This year, the Connector partnered with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to incorporate a sensory-friendly hour to create an environment that empowered attendees to navigate the Expo with their personal needs in mind. The Thompson Center also provided an Autism Friendly Business training for The Connector staff and booth vendors. This ensured that Expo was an inclusive event to help make STEM exploration available to all.

As a land-grant institution, the CYS Expo is another way for scientists to spread the university’s mission to share research and knowledge with the people of Missouri. Expo attendees learned from real, practicing scientists and explored various scientific careers through a variety of authentic and hands-on scientific activities. This was a unique experience for both parents and children to grow their interest in science while learning about some of the most cutting-edge research happening at Mizzou. Events like this allow the Columbia community to see and experience some of the research being done on Mizzou’s campus in a fun and engaging way!

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