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Area middle school students explore STEAM careers

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — People with “STEAM” career field training continue to be in high demand and that training starts early. STEAM stands for science, technology, arts and design, and mathematics.

Nearly 2,000 middle school students from around southeast Minnesota visited RCTC Tuesday for a first hand look at careers in STEAM fields.

“So far I’ve liked the engineering and biomedical stuff,” said Abel Stobbs, an 8th grader at Kellogg Middle School.

“I like the engineering and 3-D printing and stuff,” said fellow Kellogg Middle School 8th grader Ben Sabot.

The event was put on by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, with 50 local employers demonstrating and explaining the various jobs to students.

“At this summit, middle schoolers are coming in and they are really energetic,” said IBM design engineer Steve Mroz. “The things they area really interested in looking at, they are able to touch because a lot of this is no functional, so we’ll allow them to touch things and look at them. Just that hands on ability shows them what we are we’re designing and how we go through it.”

Career fields on display included construction, healthcare, engineering, welding, technology, and many more. There was something new for everyone to learn about.

“I guess just learning more about the physics of technology and how it works,” said Kellen Passentino, a 7th grader at Byron Middle School.

The goal of the summit is to get kids thinking about the future and all the career options they have to look forward to.

“I thought over by IBM, I never thought I would want to work like IBM, but it was really interesting,” said Alivia Lancaster, a Kellogg Middle School 8th grader.

Many booths had items or demonstrations for students to interact with and get a hands-on experience.

“There’s one where you can sit in a truck and it will show you if you were on a tractor, like you were driving it,” said another Kellogg Middle School 8th grader Ashna Sanwal. “I never thought about that, so I think that’s a new opportunity.”

The event also provided an opportunity for students to ask questions and learn about what courses are needed for each career path.

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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