You’re never too old to learn something new and never too young to start thinking about your future. That’s the spirit behind the Charleston STEM Festival, showcasing the fun in science, technology, engineering, and math at Exchange Park Fairgrounds on March 9 (find full details at charlestonstemfest.org).
“The Lowcountry STEM Collaborative wants to expose our community to the wealth of resources we have here in STEM careers,” says director Carmelina Livingston. After all, the Brookings Institution ranks Charleston 20th among the nation’s top 100 metro areas in terms of growth for advanced industries (think auto-making, aerospace, and computer system design).
With last year’s event drawing more than 10,000 visitors to Brittlebank Park, organizers decided the sixth annual affair needed a bigger venue. With it comes a new area just for younger children and an expanded Career Concourse. Eighty-some exhibitors—from Patriots Point and the SC Department of Natural Resources to companies like Bosch and Boeing—will offer interactive learning experiences. In 2018, for example, kids played with ”roboroaches,” uncovered fossils, and built fitness trackers.
“It’s not only about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It’s about how we use that information to be more creative thinkers and problem solvers,” says Livingston.
And the event’s hardly just for kids: 22 percent of attendees are professionals aged 25 to 34. “It’s a great opportunity to network,” she notes.
Photograph by (Charleston STEM Festival) Andy Stroer, Reliable Photography, LLC