GREAT BEND–The Kansas Wetlands Education Center near Great Bend invites families to a Drop-in STEM day of activities from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 24 at the Fort Hays State University branch, 592 NE K-156 Highway, Great Bend.

Opened in April 2009, the KWEC FHSU branch offer visitors opportunities to learn about wetlands, wetland organisms, and nature-based tourism.

This Friday there will be free, come-and-go activities for families that include roller coasters, bubbles, water balloons, sunshine and snakes.

"We have all the necessary components for having a great summer," said Pam Martin, KDWPT education specialist at KWEC. "We'll also construct a nature kaleidoscope, and build a stomp rocket. Come prepared to be outdoors as activities will be located in our picnic shelter and along the nature trail."

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is home to interactive exhibits, educational programs that help educate the public about wetland communities, their importance, and the need for conservation and restoration, with emphasis on Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

The center reopened to the public in June with special measures in place to keep everyone safe. The building is open normal business hours but hands-on exhibits are unavailable.

Staff and visitors are requested to 1. Stay home if sick; 2. Practice social distancing and personal hygiene etiquette; 3. Use provided hand sanitizer stations; 4. Wear a facemask while in the building; 5. Stay together with group; and 6. Keep hands to oneself.

For more information, call the center at (877) 243-9268, or visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center online.