Interaction with learners

USC Aiken’s annual science festival returns in person for 2021

October 3 – Young learners can once again experience close and personal interaction with STEM professionals this year at the 36th annual Science Education Enrichment Day (SEED) STEM festival.

The annual SEED STEM Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 9 at the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center campus at USC Aiken. The event is free and open to the public.

“Imagine getting up close to bees, stroking an alligator, learning how to create a rain garden, investigating a carnivorous plant, driving a championship robot or virtually traveling through space,” said John Hutchens, director of special programs at Ruth Patrick . Science Education Center, in a press release. “Customers will be able to do just that at SEED”

This year’s event returns to in-person exhibits after going virtual in 2020 due to coronavirus security concerns.

The event will celebrate innovations in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).

“We plan this event every year to allow young learners to interact closely and personally with scientists, engineers and other technical professionals in the real world,” said Hutchens. “The goal is to raise awareness of the role of STEM in society and that it can be fun too.”

Student groups, regional societies, museums, professional organizations, government agencies, educators and national laboratories will join forces to create and present engaging hands-on activities for guests of all ages.

SEED STEM Festival highlights will include over 30 hands-on activities and exhibits from Aiken County EMS, American Nuclear Society, Cold Creek Nurseries, SCDNR, USCA, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Astronomy Club of Augusta and more.

Some exhibits will feature fascinating technologies and sciences, including robotics, nuclear power, flight, biology, chemistry, neuroscience and biodiversity. For more details on the festival, visit

SEED sponsors include Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Southern Nuclear, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, SRS Community Reuse Organization, Generac, SRP Federal Credit Union, Aiken Standard, NewsChannel 6 and Bridgestone.

In every attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, most of the event’s exhibits will be outdoors. Masks are mandatory indoors and suggested outdoors in situations where social distancing is not possible.

This event is presented by the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center, which works closely with the Aiken County Public School District.

“We recognize that as a society we need to continue to excite and engage families in STEM fields,” Hutchens said.