The third annual STEM Diversity Summit, which took place Tuesday at Farmingdale State College, drew greater attendance and more interest from large technology companies this year.
The summit is an effort to bring together government officials, educators, non-profits and businesses to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching in local schools.
In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on the importance of STEM education as technical industries see a growing shortage of skilled workers. Statistics have also shown that students in the U.S. are behind their peers in terms of technical knowledge and skills.
During the most recent summit, over 500 students from 20 Long Island schools presented their science projects, with over 120 additional attendees. The half-day event featured a contest among the students with projects, and STEM-focused panels and talks by local science professionals.
National and local tech companies -- such as Microsoft, Motorola, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and A+ Technology Solutions -- also exhibited at the summit for the first time to the students.