Professionals in STEM Fields Visit Athens For Presentations

Daulton Bahm, Assistant Online Editor

If a student is interested in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, they are in luck. The Athens Drive STEM Academy is offering seven “Lunch and Learn” sessions held every other Wednesday in Megan Myers’ room, room 2408 (previously in Shane Barry’s room, room 2720).

Lunch and Learn Sessions will be typically held on the first and third Wednesday of every month, which began on Feb. 5.  The last two Lunch and Learns, held in April, will be held the second and fourth Wednesdays due to Spring Break.  They last the full SMART lunch period. Students are invited to bring their lunch and watch the speaker display a presentation about their career.  The speakers are all part of STEM fields, which include architecture, engineering, landscaping, environment, and energy. Students can learn about what to expect in any of the careers.  The Lunch and Learns are targeted to students in the STEM Academy of Energy and Sustainability, but other students outside of the STEM program are also invited to attend if they are interested in the careers being featured.

While the guest speaker gives his or her presentation, he or she will often use visual aids to explain his or her career.  For example, on the March 19 Lunch and Learn session, energy scientist Walt Haven talked about several different ways to obtain clean and renewable energy. Haven passed around rocks to discuss the topic of fracking, a controversial form of energy.

Shane Barry, science teacher and part of the STEM program, is excited about what the Lunch and Learns offer for students.

“Lunch and Learns offer students insight at what STEM careers will be like,” said Barry.

There have been several Lunch and Learns to date, with professionals from several different STEM fields.

Barry enjoyed the Architecture Lunch and Learn on Feb. 5.

“The architect Lunch and Learn was the best one.  She really explained things well and showed students what the career is like,” said Barry.

Students often have different opinions. Kenny Venditti, freshman and member of the STEM academy, enjoyed the RTI Engineering Lunch and Learn, Mar. 5.

“My favorite Lunch and Learn was the engineering one.  A guest speaker from RTI engineering introduced me to the job that I really wanted, which was mechanical engineering,” said Venditti.

If any student is interested in any STEM career, they can come to Mr. Barry’s room every other Wednesday until May 7 to explore careers leaning towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  There will be many different guest speakers from different STEM careers.