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Northland’s National Center for Autonomous Technologies to Host large-scale Experience STEAM event at Mall of America August 10 – 14

Northland’s National Center for Autonomous Technologies to Host large-scale Experience STEAM event at Mall of America August 10 – 14

One of a kind event to include hands-on and experiential learning opportunities for youth, their families, and educators.

August 5, 2022 – As part of Mall of America’s 30th Birthday Celebration, Mall of America is proud to be partnering with The National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) and partners supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Northland Community & Technical College, and the colleges and universities of Minnesota State to present Experience STEAM, an interactive indoor and outdoor mall-wide event that aims to inspire youth by showcasing a variety of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) careers in action Aug. 10-14.

“We are honored to be the host site for Experience STEAM. The event truly brings to life the importance of helping engage and shape the future for our youth with an opportunity to learn about what inspires them and how they can create their future with that spark of inspiration,” said Renslow. “To host this event during our 30th birthday is especially fitting because over the past three decades, Mall of America has continuously innovated to be a place where children, families and all generations can think big and be inspired. From challenging the very definition of what a mall can be to offering thousands of creative and technical careers, we’re excited to showcase our innovation in action for the next generation.”

“Experience STEAM is a revolutionary approach to educational outreach. NCAT believes experiential learning provided by two-year technician education is a driving force in advancing social and economic mobility,” says Jonathan Beck, Executive Director and PI, NCAT. “Our team is focused on creating accessible pathways to technician education to anyone who wants it. Our dream is that Experience STEAM will offer life changing opportunities to connect people to education using hands-on learning. With thoughtful collaboration, we can spark the imaginations of our nation’s future skilled technical workforce.”

Northland President Sandy Kiddoo will welcome all participants to the event during a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Huntington Bank Rotunda.

“The National Center for Autonomous Technologies puts Northland in the front seat to many unique and exciting research and development opportunities in the STEAM field,” Sandy Kiddoo, Northland President, shared. “NCAT is a National Science Foundation Advanced Technical Education Center and the only one in Minnesota of the 27 national ATE centers. I am proud of the team at NCAT for leading the way in providing experiences like this event to explore and advance technical education.”

Other speakers include Jill Renslow, EVP of Business Development for Mall of America, Congressman Dean Phillips, U.S Representative from District 3, Tim Busse, Mayor of Bloomington, and Roger Moe, Chair of Minnesota State Board of Trustees.

Parents and kids of all ages are encouraged to participate in this free hands-on experience that will include a STEAM carnival, robotics competition, drone racing, workshops, and much more.

A few highlights include:

  • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony-Wednesday, Aug. 10, 12:30 p.m. Huntingtonr Bank Rotunda
  • STEAM Guitar Building Workshop-Thursday, Aug. 11, 3 – 5 p.m. level 3, (322 West)
  • Youth Drone Racing Championship-Friday, Aug. 12, 3 – 9 p.m. Macy’s Court
  • VEX Robotics Signature Event-Friday, Aug. 12, 2 – 6 p.m. – Saturday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. North Atrium
  • Outdoor Activations/Demonstrations-Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. North Lot
  • STEAM Carnival Activities + Immersive Learning Center-Wednesday, Aug. 10 – Sunday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Huntingtonr Bank Rotunda – this will be the main STEAM activation space
  • Drone Cage – Drone Racing/Flying-Wednesday, Aug. 10 – Sunday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Macy’s Court

“Experience STEAM has great activities for youth, students, and adults, focusing on developing the technical workforce,” says Aaron Sykes, STEAM Outreach Coordinator, NCAT. “Anyone can join in the hands-on activities to learn something new and exciting while seeing a clear transition to education and career pathways. This holistic view of active STEAM engagement represents a unique opportunity to engage with non-traditional students, BIPOC communities, and returning veterans.”

All events are free and open to the public.


The National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) was formulated through the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program. As the first national ATE center in autonomous technologies, NCAT is crafting, adapting, and implementing educational resources and serves as a resource hub for evidence-based research on the knowledge and skills needed to meet workforce demands while increasing the quality and diversity of the highly skilled technical workforce.

Related Media:

For more on Experience STEAM, please visit

For more on Mall of America’s 30th birthday, visit