LAKEWOOD RANCH -- It's got a catchy new name, Rock Your Robot School Fair, and some engaging science and math activities to keep students busy while their parents browse more than 30 exhibitor tables.
What was once a private school fair at Lakewood Ranch has been broadened to include public schools and providers of extracurricular activities for children, among them a riding academy, a youth orchestra, a youth opera and martial arts.
Rock Your Robot School Fair is set for 5-7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 at Fete Ballroom at the Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop. Admission is free.
While there won't actually be robots at the school fair, the two things that make them possible, math and science, will be emphasized.
Each exhibitor has been requested to provide a math and science activity for the children who stop by. Not only will it give the kids something to do, it will give parents a taste of the way educators and others work with students, said Lori Basilone, director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.
Why math and science?
"They both require critical thinking about how things work; and second, math and science place long-term emphasis on having students graduate with degrees that will match what employers need at the technical level, which for economic development and driving business to Florida is so important," Basilone said.
The Out-of-Door Academy and Saint Stephen'sEpiscopal School have been fair mainstays over the years.
"If you're looking to explore all the educational opportunities in Manatee County, this is the way to do it," said Jennifer Vigne, Saint Stephen's marketing director.
Saint Stephen's is planning fun, interactive and innovative activities with iPads for the fair, Vigne said.
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Bradenton also will be taking part and focusing on its human body explored program for high school students.
LECOM has been offering the program for the past eight years to students interested in the health care field.
The comparative anatomy and physiology program includes hands-on activities, said LECOM's Michael Polin.
Among students who have taken the course is Morgan Pyne, a Lakewood Ranch High School grad who is now a second-year medical student at LECOM, Polin said.
For more information,call 941-757-1530 or visit www.lwrcac.com.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021 or tweet @jajones1.