STEM to be the Focus of Event at Cape Cod Community College

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Co-organizers Jennifer MaClachlan and Jack Driscoll of PID Analyzers

CCB MEDIA PHOTO: Co-organizers Jennifer MaClachlan and Jack Driscoll of PID Analyzers

WEST BARNSTABLE – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math will be the focus Saturday at Cape Cod Community College.

The campus is hosting the third annual STEM Journey from noon to 4 p.m. The event is a collaboration between Cape Cod & Islands Council, Boy Scouts of America, The Cape Cod Regional STEM Network, PID Analyzers, the American Chemical Society and the college.

STEM Journey will feature more than 30 interactive exhibits throughout the Grossman Commons, Tilden Arts Center and Gymnasium on the college campus.

“We have many hands on activities,” said Jennifer Maclachlan, an owner of PID Analyzers. “Some that are thematic and related to the transportation theme – air, land and sea. Then we have others that are just STEM themed.”

This year’s STEM Journey theme is Land, Sea and Air Transportation. Exhibits will include drones, underwater remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, rockets and simulators.

Maclachlan said the event will also feature a Lego lab and 3D printers.

“We’ll be showcasing the difference between how students are using these,” she said. “We’ll have some of the colleges using these parts and then we’ll also have professional companies showcasing how they use 3D printers.”

Jack Driscoll, who is also an owner of PID Analyzers, said improving STEM education needs to be a focus of educating our youth.

“If we want to basically be able to compete with the rest of the world we really need more people in STEM jobs, starting new companies, getting involved in something that they like but something that is involved in science,” Driscoll said. “Because those are usually better paying jobs than you might ordinarily have.”

The event will also feature three keynote speakers, one for each of the transportation theme areas.

The land speaker will be Dr. John Leonard, a professor of mechanical and ocean engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Leonard will be discussing autonomous cars as his research focuses on the problems of navigation and mapping for autonomous mobile robots.

Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf will be the speaker for air. Wolf is the founder and CEO of Cape Air, which is the largest commuter airline in the country. He will talk about advances in the field of aviation.

The sea speaker, Kaitlyn Tradd, will present “Underwater Vehicles – Human Occupied, Remotely Operated and Autonomous.” Tradd is a research engineer in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

STEM Journey is a free event and is open to the public.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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