YES Teens create electric go-karts

With the support of partnerships with Frank Leta Automotive and Toyota USA, teens in the Youth Exploring Science (YES) Program had the opportunity to build and drive go-karts over the summer. As guests of World Wide Technology Raceway Gives, the YES Teens attended safety and driving sessions at the KartPlex during late July.

From left: One of the many Margay Racing mentors instructing YES teen Bashir Alford in the assembly of a Margay Ignite racing go-kart.

As the next step in their introduction to motorsports and hands-on engineering, the teens were taught how to assemble a pair of Margay Racing Ignite go-karts by current and former kart racers and their pit crews. In mid-August, they also were invited to meet at the track during practice laps for the upcoming Bommarito Indy Car 500, gaining valuable engineering experience for high-end racing machinery from the experts and about existing careers.

At the Raceway’s STEM Lane event, during NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200, Indy Lights, and Vintage IndyCar races, the YES Teens proudly displayed a prototype of the electric go-kart that will be designed and fabricated this schoolyear.

From left: Keith Freber (Owner of Margay Racing), Zion Bradsher (YES teen), Scott Blind (primary sponsor of Ignite Autosport).

In the winner’s circle, from left: YES teens Zaire Bradsher, Zion Bradsher and Walter Dunlap IV, with their team coach and mentor from Margay Racing.

During their capstone event with World Wide Technology Raceway Gives, on August 29, the YES teens came in third at the Junior 500 Championship, an Ignite kart race for local teens, racing the two karts that had been assembled the week before.

© Photo credit: The Aero Experience

YES Teens Take to the Sky

Thanks to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles Program, the YES Aerospace teens were able to fly planes in August!

Of course, there was a pilot in the plane with them—but the teens were able to fly the planes themselves for a short time.

The teens practiced all summer on flight simulators to be ready for their big moment. Thank you to their flight instructors—Carmelo Turdo, Kevin Meyer and Jeffrey Rapp. And a big thanks to David Brickhaus, who invited the teens to this event and helped them to fly his plane.

If you have a child who is interested in flying, the Young Eagles Program takes kids under the age of 18 on flights once a month during the summer.

Visit for details.

My flight was amazing. I did a very good job of staying calm and believing in myself, and that is a key thing to do when doing something you love, believe in yourself so you can achieve.

The flight lasted about 30–40 minutes and me and my co-pilot were making coordinated turns, 45-degree turns, 30-degree turns and 360-degree turns. I was really getting used to flying the plane and doing my best at staying calm. But the overall experience was great—can’t wait to do it again.

Also, the flight set me on a straight path to getting me to my career and I want to thank the Science Center for making my career path start earlier than I expected.

—YES teen Ja’Mez Brown-Craig

Community Science Creates and Distributes STEAM Kits

Every summer, the Saint Louis Science Center’s Community Science department hosts a free summer camp called Summertime Science where community organizations can bring their campers.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic many organizations could not host field trips or had to reduce their camp capacities to allow physical distancing. Teens in the Youth Exploring Science (YES) Program sprang into action to create science kits that allowed kids in Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County to still have something engaging and hands-on to do before school started back.

With a great partnership with Saint Louis City and Saint Louis County libraries, over 1,800 science activities were distributed to area kids. Kits included three activities—Design a 3D Maze, Construct a Sky Scraper and Create a Sky Projector—along with basic supplies. Each activity was designed, packed and illustrated by the Saint Louis Science Center’s YES Program. The YES Teens who selected each activity then filmed a YouTube video guiding kids on how to construct each one. Although the activities may seem simple in nature, they are harnessing each child’s ability to hone in on STEAM skills like engineering, astronomy, design, critical thinking and game design. Activities were designed for kids in 1st to 8th grade.

JANUARY 15, 2022 | 10:00AM–4:00PM
Community STEAM Showcase



Join us on January 15 for our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend event showcasing the diversity of the scientific community in St. Louis. Participate in hands-on activities and presentations led by STEAM role models representing a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Meet the teens from our Youth Exploring Science (YES) Program.


Patti LaBrott, Pat Williams, Rich Guebert,
President, Illinois Farm Bureau

Science and the Farm Progress Show

During the first week of September, the Science Center’s Institutional Advancement team visited the Farm Progress Show, the largest international farm equipment show in the world, in Decatur, IL.

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis invited the Science Center team to attend the Congressional Biofuels Summit, where Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert and American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke on the importance of biofuels as renewable energy. The Farm Progress Show wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of our GROW Gallery founding partners, CASE IH, who renewed its partnership for six more years!

Rich Guebert, President of Illinois Farm Bureau,
speaking at the Congressional Biofuels Summit
Patti LaBrott, Pat Williams and Christine Cox

Missouri Beef Industry Council Partnership Renewal

For the sixth year in a row, Missouri Beef Industry Council renewed its partnership with the Science Center’s GROW Gallery. We are honored and grateful for the organization’s continued support and partnership. Make sure you stop by the GROW Gallery to get a picture with the cattle mural!

Missouri Beef Industry Council is a GROW Gallery founding partner. In addition to financial support, the council provides valuable industry knowledge, ensuring Science Center members and guests see the most updated information on agriculture and food production.

Patti LaBrott, Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, Christine Cox and Pat Williams

Agricultural Partnerships Continue to GROW

In August and September, the Science Center’s Institutional Advancement team traveled across the bi-state area visiting some of our GROW Gallery agriculture partners by attending meetings and conferences at the Illinois and Missouri State Fairs. At the Governor’s Ham Breakfast, the IA team met with Governor Mike Parson and discussed the important agriculture education being accomplished in the GROW Gallery. Maintaining strong connections with our partners and the greater agriculture community is vital to keeping our GROW Gallery thriving!