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STEM Expo to be held in Rocklin at William Jessup

ROCKLIN, Calif., - William Jessup University will host Placer County's Third Annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Expo on Saturday, March 2 beginning at 9 a.m. The Expo displays local student-generated work from grades 4-12 and connects students, educators and the community in a one-day event showcasing science, technology, engineering and mathematics as educational opportunities and viable career options.

Last year, the Placer County STEM Expo earned 'affiliate status' with the California State Science Fair which is the final science fair of the academic year for students throughout the State of California in grades 6 - 12, and has served California's future scientists since 1952.

"The Placer County STEM Expo is unique in that we accept applications to participate all the way to the morning of the event," explained event coordinator and one of Jessup's Teacher Education faculty members, Dr. Eric Bull.  "Online registration is available on our website.  This year we have exciting new exhibitors and presentations along with innovative surprises. Jet Blue Airways, one of our sponsors, is providing round-trip airfare for students selected to move forward to the California State Science Fair."

The popular event is an innovative alternative to a typical science fair offering workshops, presentations and hands-on science demonstrations, as well as robotics tournaments.  The STEM Expo allows students to explore how subjects that are often perceived as difficult can instead be challenging, interesting and fun, while connecting their interest with local businesses and industries who can partner with them in education and career preparation.

Students are encouraged to explore their interests and talents by offering seven elective categories from which they can choose: Rube Goldberg, Invention, Science Fiction, Environmental Innovation, Engineering [Reverse], Engineering [Robotics] and Scientific Inquiry. Awards will be given to first, second and third place winners.

Faculty members from Jessup's Teacher Education Department will participate as judges in addition to other volunteers with scientific backgrounds hailing from the surrounding community. Jessup's English majors will also participate as judges for the science fiction category.

Studies show students as young as third grade have started thinking of their career path which demonstrates the need and importance of helping kids to understand their options in science, technology, engineering and math. Studies also show that STEM classes and career planning should be built into school curriculum as early as possible, and that hands-on activities and visits with professionals in different fields are necessary for students to learn how their work in the classroom can be relevant to a future career.

The event is sponsored by HB Fuller, William Jessup University, JetBlue, Aerojet, City of Roseville, PASCO Scientific, and Williams and Paddon.

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