The Big Hoopla: Committee puts final touches on this weekend’s events

We’re just four days away from finding out who will be playing in the Men’s NCAA basketball tournament and, specifically, which teams will start the tournament in Dayton.

Ahead of finding out who will be taking the court at UD Arena, there will be activities for the whole family as part of The Big Hoopla.

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One of those events is the Big Hoopla Four Miler, a four-mile race that starts and ends next to UD Arena.

“Of course, it’s not a 5K. It’s a four-miler because of it being the ‘First Four.’ And it’s a great route from right outside UD [Arena] parking lot along the [Great Miami] River corridor,” Sarah Spees, The Big Hoopla Committee Director, said.

Spees has been working behind the scenes with others to make all the events this weekend happen. The Big Hoopla committee helps support the play-in tournament games in Dayton and events around it.

One of the events returning this year is the Hoopla STEM Challenge. This year, the challenge will be at the Dayton Convention Center on Sunday.

“It kind of is a really unique way to combine basketball fun and STEM education,” Spees said.

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The challenge is a free event for kindergarten through eighth grade students and has hands-on and interactive exhibits related to science, technology, engineering and math.

“It really shows a great variety of these students to help them understand what STEM education field they might be interested in when they grow up,” she said.

There’s even a “Hot Shot” contest at the STEM challenge with two winners from each age group getting the chance to walk onto the floor during Tuesday night’s NCAA games at UD Arena and make a shot on the court.

More information on The Big Hoopla can be found here.