The 7th Annual Career STEAMposium took place on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at Pasadena City College (PCC). The event was back in-person for the first time since 2019! The theme for this year’s event was STEAM to the Future, and that is what we did. It was truly a STEAM filled day with 19 Speakers across 10 workshops, 12 Hands-on/ Interactive Activities, a Young Professionals Panel followed by some networking with the STEAM professionals. There were over 350 attendees of all ages, and there was truly something for everyone.
Our Keynote Speaker energized the room with her address entitled “I, Too, Am a Scientist” where she based the concept on the poem by Langston Hughes “I, Too.” The room was lively as she asked everyone to repeat after her:
“I, TOO, AM A SCIENTIST, I, TOO, AM A POET, I, TOO, AM AN ENGINEER, I TOO!”
She informed the attendees that “Because STEAM education and careers are for every student. STEAM is for YOU!” She shared many gems during her presentation, but the bottom-line message was, we need young people to remain engaged and focused so they can have thriving STEAM careers and through diversity, they will bring a different lens to solving the world’s problems. I, TOO, AM A MATHMETICIAN.
It was wonderful to be back in-person for this year’s event. After the Keynote Address, attendees picked 2 of 10 workshops to enjoy. The speakers for the workshops were phenomenal and each continued to share, demystify and excite the attendees on the possibilities within STEAM. The speakers shared what they do today, but more importantly, they shared their journey from being a student to what their current profession today. They made themselves available and answered questions. On-going feedback on this event is people appreciate the openness and willingness to listen, answer questions and give advice to our attendees as we inspire them to pursue a future in STEAM.
After the workshops, the students headed to the PCC Quad to partake in all the Hands-on/ Interactive Activities. The committee was adventurous, and we grew this part of the program to include 12 activities that are highlighted below and in the Final Report. The weather was kind to us (it rained on Friday & Sunday, but the sun was out on Saturday) so students were able to fully enjoy all aspects of these activities.
Many students commented on how they enjoyed the sessions and appreciated how knowledgeable each speaker was on their topic. At the end of the day, they were Likely to Very Likely to recommend this event to their friends. Some direct verbal quotes and quotes from the evaluations were:
- “Meeting and networking with people, finding new opportunities and advice.”
- “I learned a lot, but mostly I learned that someone cares!”
- “I enjoyed all the interesting speakers, the food and the giveaways.”
- “I am a student at PCC. After attending today, I finally figured out that I want to major in Biotech.”
- “The robotics exhibits were interesting.”
- “We attended the science presentation of Billy Almon. His presentation about animal mimicry was very exciting. He talked about his interests and how he ended up in a very cool job.”
- One parent stated “It was such an asset to the community and they hoped it would be continued in the future.“
- A young adult shared that after attending the workshop with Lawon Carney, he is excited and reevaluating his next steps in his career as he was impressed by Lawon’s journey and feels that he can make shifts and changes in his life, also.
Overall, this first in-person event coming of COVID was a resounding success. We had attendees of all ages, and everyone found something that was a match for them as they moved through the day.