Conference Powers Students' STEAM Success
More than 200 parents and other community members who want children to succeed in science and technology careers attended a free University of San Diego conference on Aug. 13.
The conference included workshops and games providing practical tools for parents and educators, a career panel, resource directory, and a showcase of student work.
The conference focused on incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) to make learning more integrated and applicable to real-world scenarios. Presentations will be given in both English and Spanish.
“Preparing students to become the STEAM literate citizens of tomorrow is a community effort that starts with parents and family members, and extends to K-12 schools and educators, colleges and universities, and members of the civic, business and faith communities,” said Odesma Dalrymple, assistant professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in USD’s Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. “Engaging the entire community to support this effort is crucial.”
USD’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Leadership and Education Sciences co-sponsored the conference.
Organizers hope the inaugural STEAM Youth and Community Conference encourages more students, including female students and members of underrepresented groups, to consider careers in the sciences.
According to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, there are more than half a million unfilled jobs in the information technology sector across the country alone, and that by 2018 there could be 2.4 million unfilled STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs. Women and students of color currently comprise 70 percent of college students but fewer than 45 percent of science and technology degrees, representing a largely untapped talent pool.
“We hope this conference can demystify STEAM and help parents realize these concepts are easy to comprehend, exciting and fun,” Dalrymple said.
— Liz Harman