More than 1700 students participate in the 10th annual STEAM Sum - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

More than 1700 students participate in the 10th annual STEAM Summit


Students from all over Southeast Minnesota were at RCTC Tuesday morning for the annual STEAM Summit.

It is a career fair organized by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, and gives students an interactive experience, where they can see, feel and take part in the exhibitions.

More than 1,700 middle and high school students received a fully interactive experience at the fair - which last year left nearly half of those attending with a good idea of a career they would like to pursue in the future according to student surveys.

In just half an hour, Ben Timmerman, a student at Lincoln K-8 Choice School, learned a lot.

"I've seen infra-red cameras, I've learned how they work. I've seen how water pressure works, and I've learned how heating works with gas pressure, I've learned how slides are made for like DNA testing," said Timmerman. "I've learned how to help when people have lung problems...I've  learned so much so far." 

Timmerman is interested in engineering, but at the fair something caught his eye. "I saw some type of vibrating vest thing and I wanted to know more about it. And I learned that apparently when there are people that might have some lung secretions that they just  can't cough out what that does is that, it basically helps them cough it out, so then basically they can breathe better," he said.

A couple of years ago the Summit went from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), to STEAM. Organizers added the "A" to the typical "STEM" field to include Art and Design. 

"This is the tenth year we're doing this, and the excitement continues to build. We've added in Art in the past two years as a potential career - Art and     Design. So we have a number of design firms here," said RACC Interim President Kathleen Harrington.

Exhibitions ranged from medicine, tech and engineering, to the military, and what they use to heat up their food in the field.

"It comes in a pack like this where the magnesium is in here. You pour water into it, it heats it up, we put our food in there with it, and when we shake it up it gets hot," said U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Philip Kujawa "I'm really hoping that they see that we don't just go out there and you know, live off the land so to speak. That we are provided with food, and that we have ways to warm the food up. Without having to you know, build a fire, give away our position."

Harrington with the Chamber of Commerce said their mission is to make sure the future workforce is "prepared, retained and well trained."

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