Career STEAMposium 2021, Set for March 20, Connects Students to Dream Professions

STEAMposium to Present the Pros in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math

By DONNA BALANCIA

Career STEAMposium 2021, an important annual event that connects students with leaders of industry, will take place on March 20, this year in a virtual environment. Once again this annual event promises to provide an environment for young women and young men in middle and high school to connect to professionals who can lead the way to a career in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

Ramsey Jay Jr.

“Each of us has a vested interest in making sure we have the connection between diverse students — our future engineers, computer scientists, and entrepreneurs that might be out there — and the professionals in the industry who look like them,” said Clark Rucker, Director, Phantom Works Quality, The Boeing Company. He is a Co-Chair – 2021 Career STEAMposium. “Through STEAMposium we provide an opportunity for students to meet people who show them they can be successful in a career in one of those fields.”

The event prepares the workforce of the future for the jobs of the future and is sponsored by AT&T, Boeing Company, Caltech, City of Hope, Edison International, Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation, Pasadena-Altadena Ivy Foundation, Pasadena Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Pasadena City College. 

“In many cases and especially today, students may not know what they want to be when they grow up. Add to that dynamic the fact that industries, careers, and related entry level job titles are constantly changing as are the skills needed. Through the Career STEAMposium, young women and men can learn about a future career path and the academic subjects they need to take the right path to their career destination, said Ramsey Jay, Jr., President of co-producing sponsor Gamma Zeta Boulé Foundation.

“If I were to submit three points that govern the prevailing objective of Career STEAMposium, they are that we want to expose, demystify and engage,” said Jay. “Through no fault of their own, some  schools do not have the resources to adequately expose students to the STEAM complex. We know from research that if young people do not have quality access to a particular industry and career field during their developmental years, the desire to pursue careers in those industries as they mature is indeed compromised.”

Clark D. Rucker

As far as demystifying, Jay said, hearing the professionals talk about the connection between STEAM and careers is the second step in the career connection.

“STEAM is a part of every major field of interest: health care, business, finance, arts, music and entertainment, for example,” Jay said. “Also of course flagship technology companies  like Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix and least we forget the cell phones – apps and the social media platforms these kids all use — sometimes there is not a connection that these are all STEAM-related, and that these young people can have amazing careers in all of these areas. The STEAMposium is committed to demystifying the connection between using these things as a social experiment and leveraging them to have a prosperous career journey.”

The engagement at Career STEAMposium comes through a variety of virtual “hands-on” workshops and breakout sessions where a student can actually experience what it’s like to be in a profession that they may not even have known actually exists. This year, that will happen through virtual tours.

Jay said that the future lies in STEAM.

“We can look at the data and see that economic growth continues to be heavily influenced by STEAM or STEAM derivatives,” he said. “We know over the next 10 years the increase in STEAM jobs and wages will outpace non-STEAM job and wages.”

Elise Preston Mallory

Elise Mallory, LAN Solutions Regional Director of sponsor AT&T and 2021 Career STEAMposium Co-Chair said young women today may not realize the opportunities that STEAM-based careers present in many traditional arts and entertainment jobs as well as the more technical careers.

‘We have a lot of young ladies who attend the event,” Mallory said. “We market to a lot of organizations that support young ladies. We end up with a good mix of female and male. One of the things we focus on is we make sure we have female representatives in our workshops. Again, it goes back to we need women to say ‘I too can be the woman who is there.’ That  way we drive interest in these opportunities.”

Through Career STEAMposium, young women and men can look behind the scenes of what they see on their handheld phones, on TV and in music to attainable STEAM opportunities.

“So much of the arts is behind the scenes and so many of these things we see and appreciate are STEAM related capabilities and tools,” Mallory said. “So even with the arts, we approach it from the STEAM perspective. Job opportunities, income levels and being able to live the life you dream comes by stepping into these different areas of STEAM.”

There are some influential participants in this year’s event, Rucker said.

“This year, for workshop speakers we have five doctors who comprise the science team, we have four technologists, four engineers and four arts people, who connect art to the visual stimulus students need to connect to STEAM,” Rucker said. ‘We have four participants in math and show the connection between math, science and engineering then we have teams this year from Cal Poly. The liquid rocket team from Cal Poly is comprised of students who have designed a liquid rocket configuration they’ve been competing with to see who can shoot the rocket off to get into geostationary orbit and low earth orbit. We want the Cal Poly team to come talk because they’re not that much older than our attendees. We want them to tell them the story ‘Once I was in high school and now look at me, I’m designing rockets.'”

Aspiring professionals move full STEAM ahead - Photo provided by Clark Rucker
Aspiring professionals move full STEAM ahead – Photo provided by Clark Rucker

And for those who may not be able to make it to the Career STEAMposium, there is expected to be a video production available that captures the essence of the messaging and the presentations.

But the message is clear. Career STEAMposium wants to get kids engaged and get them to understand that people who are now designing and doing, were once just like them.

“The future is here and there is a digital divide that exists today but also there is an income divide that exists, and as we look ahead, people who will do well will engage in different areas of STEAM,” Mallory said.

“We do an evaluation from the kids and that’s absolutely my favorite thing to go through,” she said. “We get rave reviews every year from this event because the kids get the opportunity to get close to, talk to, and network with great representatives in industry. They learn in a different way than they do at other types of events.

“What we tell our speakers is we need the students to ‘know what you were doing when you were them,’ and bring them forward to where you are today,” Mallory said. “The students need to understand they can move from that seat they’re in today to where you are today.”

“STEAMposium is committed to providing transformative experiential STEAM exposure to as many young people as possible. By doing so we hope we are doing our part to prepare them for a world of tomorrow today and further empowering these young dreamers to become achievers”, Jay said.

Career STEAMposium 2021  takes place Saturday March 20 from 830 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information and to participate go here https://hopin.com/events/2021-virtual-career-steamposium or email careersteamposium@outlook.com.