Excerpt from: WRAL TechWore
Published by: Shannon Cuthrell

This weekend, a crowd of students ages 10-16 will join together at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh to learn about STEM – science, technology, engineering, math – fields and how they apply to everyday life.

Over 70 students, 50 parents and more volunteers and presenters are expected at the Dream Big…Dream STEM Student Conference, happening on Saturday, February 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Several local organizations will present sessions at the event, including Durham’s EVOKE Studio Architecture, RTP-based Aisymmetry LLC, Raleigh-based RIoT Labs and Jumping Rock Media, as well as Charlotte-based 12/24 Media.

The event is hosted by Teach One Tech Inc., a community development organization that runs programs for students interested in STEM disciplines. Saturday’s event is Teach One Tech’s third “Dream Big…Dream STEM” conference, with previous editions held in 2016 and 2017.

Teach One Tech Founder Andre Curtain says he and his team started the program with the goal to nurture and spark potential STEM interest in students, “allowing them to see beyond the surface of STEM opportunities.”

“In many cases, they don’t realize that when they listen to music, play their favorite game or even ride in a vehicle that they are being affected by STEM in some way,” Curtain adds.

The event provides a well-rounded mix of STEM disciplines for students to try out. Curtain says this type of programming provides students with a different approach to learning about STEM and careers associated with it.

The day is broken up into several sessions with interactive exercises. They’ll give students an introduction to architecture, the Internet of Things, computer animation and design, and robotics.

Parents and adult volunteers can also join two sessions to learn about social media safety and trends affecting young people.

The event will close with a keynote from the DJ Storm Trooper 421 team, who will share how they incorporate STEM into their performances.

Curtain’s three goals for the conference are to “provide an avenue for students to explore STEM-related careers from industry experts, to create an experience for them to see that science, technology, engineering and mathematics can be included in their future aspirations, and to provide an opportunity for parents to glean information about how to guide their students toward STEM included learning.”

“We are creating an experience for the students to enjoy learning and discovery, interact with peers with similar interests, and leave the conference inspired to be the future innovators in their area of interest,” he added.