Long Island students, teachers and businesses are coming together Wednesday to discuss all things relating to some of the country’s fastest-growing fields: science, technology, engineering and math -- also known as STEM.
The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City is hosting the celebration that will give more than 300 attendees an opportunity to exchange education ideas and learn about local job opportunities available in STEM fields. The event is being coordinated by the Long Island STEM Hub, one of 10 statewide organizations designed to develop a system that will produce STEM-ready students.
Hub officials estimate there will be about 188,000 job openings in STEM fields in the next five years on Long Island, but they say many schools are not equipped with the resources, teachers and programs required to produce students who will be workforce ready in the near future.
“We’re looking to see what we can do as a region to work together,” said Cheryl Davidson, co-steward of the Long Island STEM Hub. Of the event’s importance for local students, she said: “Kids will never choose a career they don’t know about. We’re trying to show them what’s out there.”
The second annual event, titled “Stars of STEM,” will consist of 60 exhibits in which teens will showcase STEM-related research projects they have entered into local or national competitions. Attendees will also meet the hub’s eight Regional Industry Councils, which consists of local business leaders in industries ranging from aerospace to manufacturing who strive to prepare a workforce to meet their needs.
In addition, there will be a presentation that illustrates the impact of the hub’s Career Academies, which have been instituted at six Long Island school districts. The academies consist of programs designed to engage students in STEM subjects and explore the real-world application of their studies.
The event’s keynote speaker will be Al Bunshaft, president and CEO of Dassault Systèmes, a Connecticut company that specializes in the design of three-dimensional design software.