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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

Maggie Jackson, a 2008 Penn College civil engineering technology graduate, encourages the visiting students to explore every opportunity they encounter.
Maggie Jackson, a 2008 Penn College civil engineering technology graduate, encourages the visiting students to explore every opportunity they encounter.

Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, leads high-schoolers through a hands-on session to build an e-commerce website.
Spyke M. Krepshaw, instructor of web and interactive media, leads high-schoolers through a hands-on session to build an e-commerce website.

A high school student gets a close-up view of the latest in surveying equipment.
A high school student gets a close-up view of the latest in surveying equipment.

Students representing four area school districts receive nametags and free T-shirts as they are welcomed by staff, including Bradley M. Webb (right), assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies.
Students representing four area school districts receive nametags and free T-shirts as they are welcomed by staff, including Bradley M. Webb (right), assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies.

A panel of Penn College students pursuing STEM careers talks with the visiting high schoolers. From left are Colleen E. and Kristen E. Bowes, web and interactive media students from Wayne; Cory M. Bannon, an industrial design major from Harrisburg; and Marcus N. McFall, an industrial Design student from Boalsburg.
A panel of Penn College students pursuing STEM careers talks with the visiting high schoolers. From left are Colleen E. and Kristen E. Bowes, web and interactive media students from Wayne; Cory M. Bannon, an industrial design major from Harrisburg; and Marcus N. McFall, an industrial Design student from Boalsburg.

Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services, addresses the group.
Claire Z. Biggs, coordinator of admissions events and services, addresses the group.

Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design, prepares material to allow the visitors to make casts of their fingers. Creating molds and models is an important aspect of industrial design.
Thomas E. Ask, professor of industrial design, prepares material to allow the visitors to make casts of their fingers. Creating molds and models is an important aspect of industrial design.

Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, welcomes STEM Day visitors.
Carol A. Lugg, assistant dean of construction and design technologies, welcomes STEM Day visitors.

All on the same page, visitors explore plug-ins for their websites.
All on the same page, visitors explore plug-ins for their websites.

Jackson talks with students about the many avenues they can take with a civil engineering technology degree.
Jackson talks with students about the many avenues they can take with a civil engineering technology degree.

A student inspects a replica of his thumb tip.
A student inspects a replica of his thumb tip.

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