GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The next generation of makers explored the world of STEM for the second annual Amp Lab Family Open House Saturday.

The free science, technology, engineering and math event for kids ages 5 to 12 was held at Western Michigan University’s campus in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We know that kids are making decisions about what they want to pursue earlier and earlier,” said Joanne Roehm, the senior director of strategy and operations at WMU.

Kids participated in an array of hands-on activities like making motorized Lego creations. They even saw robots in action and toured the advanced manufacturing lab in the downtown campus.

Roehm said it’s important to find ways to support the next generation in a growing field.

“We wanted to have an event that was pre-middle school to help expose kids particularly to manufacturing, which is an industry that has changed so much over the last (10 to 20) years and looks very different to what their parents may have envisioned it looking like,” Roehm said.

WMU partnered with other community organizations to offer the event to the kids including Bricks4Kidz, the engineering faculty at Grand Rapids Community College, JR Automation, Autocam Medical, and West Michigan Center for Arts Technology.

They hope to do this again next year.