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South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, and Hay Camp Brewing Company have partnered to host STEAM Café, a new lecture series held at 6 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month, at the brewery.

Each lecture is led by a Mines faculty member and focuses on a range of topics. All lectures are free and open to the public. A food truck will be available and Hay Camp will serve handcrafted beer.

Allison Gilmore will lead today's, the second in the series, titled "Linguists at War: Allied Translators and Interpreters in the War against Japan."

The idea for the lecture series came from the school trying to get the community involved.

"We wanted to find a way to reach the community in as many ways as possible and have a space where people could come talk about the awesome things that are happening in science," said Rachel Mannhalter, training and development coordinator for Mines.

STEAM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, will feature lectures throughout the summer on topics ranging from Lakota arts and crafts to growing copper deep underground. The goal is to continue the series throughout the year, with more topics in the works.

"We tried to pick topics that we knew would be interesting to a broad spectrum of people. As we hear about more neat topics and research on our campus, we’ll tap into those resources as the research is highlighted," Mannhalter said.

The first lecture of the series, "The Creative Engineer," was held April 17 and showcased research in brain development and the study of music. The S.D. Mines Master Chorale performed for an audience of about 40 people, and demonstrated how music study supports the development of scientists and engineers.

"We had a nice turnout, but we’d love to see more going forward. We’re hoping to see not only more adults but kids participating," she said.

Mannhalter is optimistic that some of the topics will draw a younger crowd. The June lecture features the Science of Swords and how Mines has integrated blacksmithing into their undergraduate curriculum for the Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Department.

She hopes that these lectures will give the community a way to come together and make connections.

"The message we want to get across is that these talks are for everyone. You don’t have to be a scientist, an engineer or even a student to attend. We hope people can come together and enjoy them with their friends and even make new friends," she said.

For those unable to attend the lectures, SDPB will feature a 20-minute segment with each speaker the day of, between 11 a.m. and noon on their website.

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