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High School Students Celebrate STEM Day at Penn College

A group of 90 high-schoolers spent Nov. 8 at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where they explored a variety of careers as part of National STEM Day.

“STEM” is short for science, technology, engineering and math. According to the Population Reference Bureau, U.S. policymakers watch trends in the science and engineering labor force because high-tech workers increase our capacity for innovation and ability to compete in the global economy.

Penn College’s STEM Day activities were designed to give high school students a hands-on glimpse of some in-demand STEM-related careers.

Penn College student Shawn L. Sheeley Jr., of Kersey, shows a high school student how to use surveying equipment. The hands-on workshop was part of a National STEM Day celebration at the college that brought homeschoolers and students from four area high schools to campus.
Penn College student Shawn L. Sheeley Jr., of Kersey, shows a high school student how to use surveying equipment. The hands-on workshop was part of a National STEM Day celebration at the college that brought homeschoolers and students from four area high schools to campus.

To kick off the day, the students attended a presentation by Maggie Jackson, project manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, a 13-mile, four-lane highway construction project that is expected to take eight years from groundbreaking to completion. Jackson, who received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Penn College in 2008, encouraged students to follow their passion and to explore every opportunity without fear of failure.

The day also included lunch and a tour of campus before the students visited one of three hands-on sessions in the college’s industry-standard labs.

In a session on civil engineering and surveying, students learned how to lay out boundary lines using the newest technologies in GPS and surveying equipment.

In an industrial design session, teens created a casting of their fingers, followed by a drawing lesson. A third group attended a web and interactive media session, where they built a functioning e-Commerce website.

Participants represented Jersey Shore Area, Troy Area, Montgomery Area and Loyalsock Township school districts, as well as homeschoolers.

“We wanted to give the students an opportunity to hear from a professional who works in a STEM field and to give them hands-on experience in a few of the career options,” said Megan L. Ripka, manager of academic marketing and special projects for the college.

The first National STEM Day was implemented on Nov. 8, 2015, by toy company MGA Entertainment in conjunction with its dolls and accompanying Netflix series that feature four  smart girls who are part of a spy organization called NOV8 (pronounced innovate).

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education and workforce development, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

– Photos by Larry D. Kauffman, digital publishing specialist/photographer,
and Anna C. Miller, marketing and communications specialist, School of Business & Hospitality

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