• 37°

Space, missile symposium to feature STEM forum, expo

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

HUNTSVILLE – The 2014 Space & Missile Defense Symposium will feature a forum and expo for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) strategies.

“The symposium is the premier educational, professional development and networking event in the space and missile defense industry,” publicist Lisa Cox said. Professionals find the event conducive for face-to-face business discussions.

The overall symposium will be held Aug. 11-14, while the STEM Forum and Expo will run Aug. 12-14. All sessions will be held at the Von Braun Center.

The STEM forum is targeted for parents, post-secondary leaders, educators, business professionals and residents. “The goal is to provide current and accurate information in STEM areas and to strengthen STEM education initiatives,” Cox said.

Opening the forum, Dr. Casey Wardynski and Mary Scott Hunter will speak about educators’ leadership perspectives with STEM. Wardynski is Huntsville City Schools Superintendent. Hunter represents District 8 on the Alabama State Board of Education.

Other key topics will cover cyber workforce development, solving the skill gap in America’s workforce and detailed information on Project Lead the Way. This project is the nation’s leading STEM solution in more than 5,000 schools.

“Attendees can also hear about unique industry models from leading companies such as Toyota, Chevron and Lockheed Martin,” Cox said.

“The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that STEM jobs will grow 17 percent by 2018, nearly double the growth for non-STEM fields,” symposium chairman Dr. Rodney Robertson said.

By 2018, the country will have more than 1.2 million unfilled jobs related to STEM because of the lack of qualified workers. “STEM is where jobs are today and where the job growth will be in the future,” Robertson said.

Other sessions will focus on STEM challenges, workforce development and collaboration with community, educators and industry to help students develop the skills to succeed in a global economy, he said.

Admission to the Von Braun exhibit hall is free, and sessions are open to the public. For more information, visit smdsymposium.org.

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