The Carroll STEM Academy hosted the first-ever STEM Academy Day on Thursday, March 21. Over 30 local STEM companies gave presentations to engineering & computer science students on the growing need for STEM skills in the future workplace, and the day was topped off with a keynote speaker from Andrzej Stewart, JPL Solar System Ambassador and crew member for two NASA-supported space analog mission.
Roughly 300 STEM Academy students had the opportunity to go to 11 total sessions over the course of the day and hear from STEM professionals from companies like Sabre, American Airlines, Microsoft, Accenture, the United States Air Force Academy and many more.
“For our first year we wanted to open this up to first year Carroll STEM Academy students,” said Carroll High CTE Department Chair Steve Nathman. “The idea was to bring in local high tech companies and recent graduates to talk about the importance of STEM skills for the future. Kids need to hear this from somebody besides us!”
In addition to the professionals, the event also featured presentations from the Carroll robotics and rocket teams, and computer science competitions/projects. “It was a great way to help the first year STEM students get an idea of which of our pathways to take for high school – we wanted to give students more options, and let them decide,” said Nathman.
“I thought Carroll’s first STEM Academy day was a huge success,” said Carroll Senior High Computer Science Teacher Aaron Cadle. “Interacting with the companies helped the students see how their current classes lead to a variety of careers. It is an event that I wished I was able to take part in when I was a high school student.”
“The event exceeded all expectations! Students are talking about it, and excited for next year already,” said Nathman. “We spent the entire class the following day talking about their favorite companies, what they learned, and how we can make it even better.”