Expo to educate students on STEM careers

Jan. 4, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Updated Jan. 3, 2014 at 7:04 p.m.

Eighth-graders will have a chance to learn more about science, technology, engineering and math at a special expo Thursday and Friday.

The Victoria Business and Education Coalition along with Alcoa Foundation will host the second annual Dream Big STEM Expo.

The expo is designed to educate Victoria school district eighth-grade students about career opportunities in the region in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The VISD Career and Technical Education Department is working to implement new course outlines for the next school year that will allow students to graduate with skills specifically matched to jobs available here in the Crossroads region.

Each middle school campus will have two hours to learn about careers such as process technology, instrumentation, logistics and assembly, nursing, law enforcement, public service and welding.

Industry partners participating this year are Alcoa, Dow, Formosa, Invista, Victoria Police and Fire Departments, Caterpillar, Citizens Medical Center, Victoria College, University of Houston-Victoria, Texas Workforce Solutions, Communities in Schools and DeTar Hospital.

More than 1,000 eighth-grade students will visit the event at Victoria College Health Science Building to listen to industry leaders speak about the demands of the job, salaries, education, daily work schedule and more.

Students will also get to take part in sessions that relate real-world information about various career fields.

The presenters will share their stories of obtaining their job and encourage students to fulfill their education.

"We consider the Dream Big Expo an excellent opportunity to meet our future workforce. Any effort to help these eighth-graders define and shape their dreams and goals is definitely worthwhile," said Mike Rivet, Formosa Plastics director of environmental health.

The expo will be open to the public from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

"We encourage parents, high school students and anyone wanting to gain knowledge and information about college or careers in the area to attend," said Lanell Mantey, executive director of VBEC.

Victoria College and University of Houston-Victoria will be available to discuss college admission or any other questions the public may have about attending college. Texas Workforce Solutions will assist in starting the registration process for Work in Texas for those interested in finding employment.



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