Photo courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/Debbie Mccallum
The Maryland STEM Festival kicks off Friday, Oct. 11, beginning a myriad of events to explore and celebrate science, technology, engineering and math — with a special emphasis on pathways to jobs.
This year’s festival, which concludes November 10, is centered around the theme of space and flight. It’s fitting, given that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and the 60th anniversary of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
Goddard is among numerous venues that will organize public events under the festival’s umbrella throughout the month.
“They host events during the timeframe of the festival that provide information and activities to encourage and [provide] inspiration for STEM,” said Phil Rogofsky, the founder and executive director of the Maryland STEM Festival. “Organizations do their best to encompass the theme in their events.”
Rogofsky noted that one of the many unique events to look out for is a parade at Bowie State University in Laurel on Oct. 19. There will be standard parade features such as marching bands, cars and walkers, though Rogofsky mentioned the possibility of an Air Force flyover.
“This is potentially the first parade dedicated to STEM,” Rogofsky said. “We want something to show that STEM is fun and make [people] realize it’s not something that’s dull.”
On November 9, the third Blue Collar STEM Conference will take place at the IEC-Chesapeake Training Center in Laurel. This event serves to promote STEM jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, such as IT and construction.
The event will be run in two tracks, one for parents and teachers and one for students. This year, the program will occur during the weekend, giving more adults an opportunity to attend, Rogofsky said.
“We feel part of the reason that there is a shortage in this job market is because parents are not aware of the wonderful opportunities that these jobs hold for students,” he said. “More than half of students don’t go to college, but there are many good jobs for them in STEM fields they don’t know about.”
The event lineup information about the event is available on the Maryland STEM Fest website.-30-
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