Pierce’s first annual STEM week seeks to connect students with industry professionals

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The counseling center will host Pierce College’s first panel in which students can connect with industry professionals and collect insider information regarding careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

As a two-part series, Wednesday, Feb. 22 will feature a majors fair, while Thursday, Feb. 23 will host a discussion panel in which professionals in the fields will answer students’ questions. Both events will be in the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to counselor Lily Duong, there will be eight guest speakers, including alumni Tracie Dean Ponder, founder and CEO of Genius in Motion. There will also be a representative from NASA.

“NASA is coming in to give a demonstration,” Duong said. “They’re going to have a recruiter and she will share a lot about scholarships and internship opportunities for students.”

Math Department Chair Sheri Lehavi said that STEM week can be a benefit for any student who enjoys math and science, even if they are not currently majoring in either field.

“I’m hopeful that the event will encourage some students who are not right now in a STEM field to consider it,” Lehavi said.

Dale Fields, a physics professor at Pierce, said that this is the kind of event he could have benefitted from when he was a student hoping to become an astronomer.

“There were no astronomers in the town that I grew up in,” Fields said. “I wish I had something like that.”

Duong says she plans to host similar events every February.