STEM Week at CSM Draws Thousands of Children, Adults

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The desire to explore and promote careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) brought hundreds of children and adults to the College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata Campus April 10-14.

            “Having so many young people on campus for STEM Week was a thrill,” said CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried. “Their energy and curiosity was wonderful to see and I think that our presenters were energized as well. The message we want to send is that when you study math and science in school, there are so many doors that open for you—no matter what career you pursue.” Gottfried added that the week of events would not have been possible without the support of the entire college, the local school systems, sponsors, exhibitors and hundreds of volunteers.

            The week began with the Tri-County Job and Career Fair on April 10. According to Career Services Director Lisa Warren, the event brought 757 job seekers to the Physical Education (PE) Center to meet with employers from 40 organizations, many of them in STEM fields. “This was one of the best job fairs I’ve been involved with,” said Director of Recruiting Tony Navarro, who fielded questions from CSM students and community members about job opportunities with the sheet metal industry. For a video of tips on resume writing, interviewing and how to prepare for a job fair, visit http://bit.ly/IdTRtH. or click here

On April 12, the Youth in Technology Summit, now in its fourth year, hosted 470 middle and high school students from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. Students attended workshops on cybersecurity, the trades and flight testing; heard a keynote address by NASA Aerospace Engineer—and renown deejay—Mark Branch; and participated in a STEM career expo where they came face-to-face with STEM professionals from NAVAIR, Wyle Aerospace Group, Compass Systems and BAE Systems. It is important for students to see what possibilities await them if they study math and science in school, said summit founder Al Leandre who is a CSM Foundation director. For more on NASA Aerospace Engineer Mark Branch, visit http://bit.ly/H3piGu. To see photos from the Youth in Technology Summit, visit http://bit.ly/IcKKsU.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on April 13 was attended by more than 300 educators and administrators from Southern Maryland and the Washington, D.C. Metro area, including 40 teacher education students, according to CSM Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Sue Subocz. Participants moved through five sessions, choosing from 27 workshops presented by peers, among them Margy Stevens, executive director of the Dayton Regional STEM Center. Stevens discussed how the professional development that teachers receive through STEM fellowships is transforming schools in her community. To watch a pre-conference video of CSM STEM Director Robert Farinelli’s interview with Stevens, visit http://bit.ly/Iap383. .

            On Saturday, April 14, CSM hosted a spirited day of robotics competition for area elementary and middle school students that included 52 teams from 28 schools. The PE Center was filled with hundreds of students, hundreds of parents, grandparents and siblings, as well as more than 100 volunteer judges, referees and ambassadors. For competition results and photos, visit http://bit.ly/ILyT4y.

            Sponsors for the week included Grand Sponsor PNC Bank as well as sponsors BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Charles County Technology Council, Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation, Sabre Systems, Inc., SMECO, Wyle Aerospace Group, CSC SMARTRONIX, Inc. and Compass Systems, Inc. with special thanks to NAVAIR. The Patuxent Partnership was a sponsor with the robotics competition.

 “We simply couldn’t pull off events like these without our generous sponsors,” said Farinelli.

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