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Civic Impact

Digital cosmos, tissue engineering, nanotech, CSI for bugs: SciTechDays at Science Center


There's still room for teachers to sign up their classes for the March SciTechDays at the Carnegie Science Center -- or for educators to explore them with the chance to sign up for November's versions.
 
Aimed at middle- and high-school kids, the SciTechDays are focused on "getting kids excited about all these different careers in STEM," says Linda Ortenzo, director of STEM Programs (science, technology, engineering and math). "The whole idea behind it is to connect students with STEM professionals in a real fun and productive way."
 
Universities and companies from FedEx Ground to PPG, U.S. Steel, Chevron, Consol and others set up hands-on activities in biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, advanced materials and other areas that relate to possible careers in the Pittsburgh area. There are always 2,000 unfilled STEM-related jobs across this region, Ortenzo says, because kids aren't aware of what sort of schooling they need to prepare for STEM careers.
 
Kids who come to SciTechDays, she says, will be able to answer the questions: "'What's it take to work in robotics? What's it take to be a biotechnologist? How cool is it to be in tissue engineering and what does it take to do that?' It's a very exciting and energizing time for everybody, the kids and the teachers."
             
Each day offers a variety of sessions for the teachers to assign their kids, including a "new frontier" presentation for gifted and advanced students. The next middle-school days, March 5-6, and the next high-school days, March 7-8, feature sessions on "Creating the Digital Cosmos," "CSI Bugs, Bodies ...and Bananas?" "If a Salamander Can Grow New Limbs, Why Can’t People? Tissue Engineering Workshop" and others.
 
March 9 is a SciTechDay open to public, on the theme Math+Science=Success, with programs applicable to the full grade range of K-12.
 
Teachers wishing to register their classes should call 412-237-3400, extension 7.
 
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Linda Ortenzo, SciTechDays
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