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MD's Science and Technology Festivals Back for a Second Year

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About 400 STEM Festivals will be held for students in Maryland this fall. (STEM Festival)
About 400 STEM Festivals will be held for students in Maryland this fall. (STEM Festival)
June 8, 2016

COLUMBIA, Md. -- It can be a challenge to convince kids that science and math can be fun. But in Maryland, inroads are being made with a series of hands-on events.

The STEM Festivals feature robotics, painting with computers, designing and building, and other projects -- all teaching children the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.

Festival director Phil Rogofsky said today's kids are surrounded by technology but might not make the connection to future career possibilities. He said it's important that kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds get these opportunities.

"We really try to reach the underserved communities," he said. "You know, there are areas all across the state where there are people that don't know much about STEM, and we want to get to them, wherever they are."

Last year, about 50,000 people attended more than 300 STEM Festivals around the state. This year, more than 400 STEM Festival events will be held in November.

Rogofsky said many folks don't realize how much of everyday life and commerce is connected to science, math and technology.

"STEM is an important part of agriculture in Maryland, which is a huge part of the economy," he said. "Tractors are run by satellites now; we do studies of what's the best crop, and how to keep those crops healthy, and how to grow the best crop."

Some of the STEM Festival sponsors include Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, Lockheed Martin, MedImmune, Northrop Grumman, Tenable Network Security and the U.S. Army.

More information is online at marylandstemfestival.org.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MD