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Second annual youth science retreat is today in Willmar, Minn.

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WILLMAR -- The second annual i3@MTC Youth Science Retreat takes place today the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.

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The free, day-long event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and features demonstrations, hands-on labs, real-life applications of science and expose students to science, technology, engineering and math disciplines in the workplace.

This year's i3@MTC Youth Science Retreat, which stands for, "Inspire, Investigate, and Innovate at the MinnWest Technology Campus" will include about 25 different demonstrators, including robotics, solar energy devices, a bald eagle and owl from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and special effects with video.

The St. Cloud State University Mobile Science Lab and the Ridgewater Mobile Diagnostics Training Lab will also be present.

The featured guest will be the University of Minnesota Physics Force which will present its show at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the MinnWest Technology Campus Auditorium.

The Minnesota National Guard is participating with their rock climbing wall.

Last year's event drew more than 500 students and several hundred adults. The expectation is for more than 700 students this year, according to organizers.

Sponsored by MinnWest Technology Campus in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the event is designed for students in grades 6-12; however, all students, parents and grandparents are invited to attend.

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