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By: Lisa Derby Oden, STEM Project Director

STEMPower, the Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative, takes an active role in events that provide today’s youth with hands-on STEM awareness activities. STEMPower just participated in 8th Annual Massachusetts Construction Career Days (MassCCD) that were held on May 5 and 6 at the New England Laborers’ Training Academy in Hopkinton, MA. More than 1400 high school students from across Massachusetts learned about industry job opportunities, including construction, engineering and environmental fields with both union and open-shop companies. The students that attended could learn how to operate backhoes, excavators, jackhammers, pavers, and more. They also were able to take part in concrete finishing, welding, cutting and burning, electrical work, carpentry, laying brick and block, surveying, field engineering and other hands-on activities.

In collaboration with MASSMEP, STEMPower arranged for the Mobile Training Unit to provide an overview of CNC training. A STEMPower Advisory Council member representing Spectra Lights provided a dynamic demonstration of their LED lights and how they compare to flood lights, incandescent bulbs and CFL bulbs. It is easy to feel and see the energy savings through their demonstration, which raises consciousness about clean energy career choices.

STEMPower Coaches were on hand to answer questions about STEM careers and the STEMPower project.

Volunteers from exhibitor companies and the operators that staff the exhibits can talk to the students about the skills, training and professionalism they have used to succeed. Students also receive information on colleges, trade schools and certification programs that serve the construction industry. The event gives students the opportunity to learn about the careers in the industry that interest them the most and the scholarships available to help them achieve their goals.

The 3rd Annual Massachusetts STEM Expo will be held in conjunction the MA State Middle School Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, June 5, at Worcester Technical High School. The expo runs from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM and will showcase STEM companies, college programs and organizations. Over 500 students, parents, teachers and STEM professionals from across Massachusetts will attend to learn about what these companies and organizations do and the careers they offer, and the education pathways to get there. STEMPower, Intel, Natick Labs, Foresight Project, Quinsigamond Community College and UMASS Medical School represent some of the organizations involved.

To learn how to become involved in the program as an employer, mentor, advisory council member, or on, contact STEM Project Director, Lisa Derby Oden, at 508-751-7575 or [email protected]. Mid-Massachusetts STEM Pathways Initiative is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The program is an equal opportunity program.

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