Fermilab offers students chance to learn about STEM careers

  • High school students can get real-world advice at Fermilab's annual STEM Career Expo on Wednesday, April 27.

    High school students can get real-world advice at Fermilab's annual STEM Career Expo on Wednesday, April 27. Courtesy of Fermilab

By Andre Salles

How does one go about becoming a scientist? What courses in college will help you become a mechanical engineer? What opportunities are available for math majors? What is the daily life of a computer technician really like?

On Wednesday, April 17, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia will offer high school students a valuable opportunity to ask those questions in person.

The annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Career Expo, held in the atrium of Wilson Hall, will put those students face to face with people actually doing the jobs they will be applying for in the coming years.

In addition to Fermilab scientists and engineers, the STEM Career Expo will feature more than 100 professionals from more than 30 local companies and research organizations who will be on hand to explain what they do.

But this is not a college or job fair, and is not about recruiting, according to organizer Susan Dahl of the Fermilab Office of Education and Public Outreach.

Rather, she said, this is a chance for students to talk one-on-one with professionals working in their fields of interest. The expo also will include five panel discussions on STEM-related topics, with an opportunity for students to ask questions.

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"We hope students come away with a new view of the possibilities of finding careers in these fascinating fields, and a more realistic idea of the individuals working in these very relevant and fascinating jobs," Dahl said.

The STEM Career Expo is free and open to all high school students.

The expo is a collaborative event organized by the Fermilab Office of Education and Public Outreach and educators and career specialists from area schools.

Sponsors include Fermilab Friends for Science Education, Batavia High School, Geneva Community High School, York High School and Yorkville High School.

For more information, visit the website at ed.fnal.gov/programs/careerfair.

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