HUNTERSVILLE, N.C.--For students like, Denzil Xavier, an outdoor learning fair is much better than sitting in a classroom.
"I'm learning stuff but it's a fun way to learn it. I see stuff and then I think, cool! That's awesome! I want to try that,” said Xavier.
That's exactly what event organizers were hoping for.
The Catawba River District and UNC Charlotte's STEM Center teamed up with the Duke Energy Explorium to bring 500 fifth graders an experience they wouldn't forget.
"What research is finding is that you can improve your academic performance up to 70 percent if you roll in those hands-on experiences," said Edna Chirico with Catawba River District.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Gaston County schools students descended on the booths, set up by dozens of area businesses and organizations.
"One of the main goals of today is to introduce all of these kids to stem education and STEM careers," said Hailey Wilson with Duke Energy Explorium.
Organizers hoped to not only entertain the young minds while teaching them, but also to spark their interest to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
With student Amber Cloyd, they may have a future meteorologist on their hands.
"It's fun watching the people show us things like the science stuff because I like weather a lot too," said Cloyd.
Organizers said watching the students come alive at the event proves this is hands-on learning at its best.