SF Highlights STEM Education and Careers with STEM Fest 2011

SF Highlights STEM Education and Careers with STEM Fest 2011

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the so called “STEM” academic disciplines — have been very much in the news recently as a path to high-paying careers and stimulus to economic growth.

Santa Fe College is sponsoring STEM Fest 2011, Nov. 14-17, at the Perry Center for Emerging Technologies in Alachua. STEM Fest’s goal is to inspire student research and to introduce middle, high school and college students to the exciting career possibilities for individuals with a STEM education. The average annual compensation of STEM occupations in Florida from 2005-2008 was $74,958.

During STEM Fest, research posters highlighting STEM accomplishments by high school and college students will line the center’s hallways and meeting rooms, and will be viewable 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Nightly at 6 p.m., different speakers will highlight an aspect of the STEM academic fields and careers, followed by a Q&A. All presentations are free and open to the general public, and students are invited to attend events with their parents. Guests can also view the center’s state-of-the-art, high tech classrooms and laboratories. 


  • Monday, Nov. 14  – Keynote Speaker and Opening Reception – Speaker, Kim Yates, Biological Scientist, Banyan Biomarkers, will discuss the hidden opportunities available in the Biotechnology field.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 – “Bridge the Gap, High School à College” – Speaker, Ginger Clark, Scientific Director for Genetic Analysis at UF’s ICBR
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16 – “Pathway to Success Begins in Middle School” – Speaker: Will Frazier, Buchholz High School math Team Founder and Coach
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 – “College Night! So, You Want a Job?” – Speaker: Pattie Breedlove, Associate Director, UF Sid Martin Biotech Incubator

The STEM fields are Science: biology, chemistry, marine biology, physics, science; Technology: computer information, systems, game design, developer, web/software developer;  Engineering: chemical, civil, computer, electrical/electronic, general and mechanical engineering; and Mathematics and statistics.

According to the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America: “Over the past 50 years, taxpayer investment in technology and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education has indirectly produced more than half of the nation’s economic growth. Prominent economists agree that no other investment generates a greater long-term return to the economy than scientific R&D — and that starts with our educational systems.”

STEM Fest is sponsored by the Research in Undergraduate Education project at Santa Fe College and by the Perry Center for Emerging Technologies, 14180 NW 119th Terr., Alachua Fl (32615) on US 441 just south of Alachua.

For more information, please contact Eileen Monck at 352-395-5321 or Kendall McPherson, 352-381-3750.

STEM Resources

STEM Educational Coalition

2011 Florida Research and Development Report Card – PDF

2011 Florida’s K-12 STEM Ed Report Card – PDF