STEM Career Symposium

How do students prepare for careers during high school?

“Establishing Career Roots through STEM Education” was held at the North Hills High School on Jan. 30, 2013. 

The keynote speaker was Joy Ruff, who is the community outreach manager for the Marcellus Shale Corp.  She fielded questions from high school students who represented North Hills, Avonworth, Cornell, Montour and Quaker Valley. 

The questions ranged from what to think of Marcellus Shale, how to prepare for careers in the oil and gas industry, and whether the development of the oil and gas industry in the United States would create an energy-independent America.

Amy Cribbs, from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3, and Dave Barkovich, dean of students of North Hills School District along with the administration, faculty and staff of North Hills School District and different companies represented, provided a very informative and collaborative environment for high school students.  

An open forum in the auditorium offered opportunity to ask questions related to different STEM careers with various companies and educators including but not limited to engineering, medicine, construction, innovation and alternative energy.

Different panels were designated to various classrooms, which included the Science and Mathematics aspects of STEM, Technical Aspect of STEM, and the Engineering Aspect of STEM.

The companies represented were:  Aerotech Inc., Marcellus Shale Corp., Nationwide Financial, Pittsburgh Steelers, WTAE-TV, Builders Guild of Western PA, Print-o-Stat, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, 4moms.com, Westinghouse Electric Co., UPMC Physician Services, PJ Dick, Trumbull, Lindy Paving, Bayer, Pittsburgh Super Computer Center, PPG Industries, Earth Inc., and Green Mountain Energy. Shaler Township was also represented.

The education providers represented were: University of Pittsburgh Swanson Engineering, University of California of PA, CCAC, STEMM Academy, A.W. Beattie Career Center, Kaplan Career Center, Carnegie Science Center, Rosedale Technical Institute, Pittsburgh Technical Institute, ITT Technical Institute, and the Northland Public Library.

The military personnel represented were Carnegie Mellon University Naval ROTC, Triangle Tech, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army Reserves, and U.S. Marine Corps.

The next career symposium for business, information, government and law will be held on Feb. 25th at Robert Morris University.  Please refer to Business and Education Connected's website for more details: business-education-connected.com


By Aafke Loney, Business and Education Connected

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ray T February 19, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Is it STEM, or STEAM? I know this is about a seminar at North Hills which might not incorporate the "A" of Arts, but Pine Richland has been inconsistent with it's terminology with its new program. As someone who is a big advocate for an integrated arts curriculum, I have seen no examples of how Pine Richland is incorporating the Arts into their STEAM initiative. I know of two board members who only refer to the program as STEM in meetings as well. What is it? If you tell me the reason you built the new wing of the high school was to integrate fine arts into Science, Math, and Technology, where is it?
Aafke Loney February 19, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Thank you for you comment Ray T! You are correct the North Hills STEM Career Symposium was focused on careers in STEM. Art is a natural component to science, technology, engineering and math as it adds the needed creativity for innovation. School districts need advocates and perhaps your advocacy for the Arts is needed and this can be attained through participating in STEAM opportunities at the high school. Also through attending the Academic and Student Activities Committees this will also provide additional information in how the Arts is being incorporated into the STEAM curriculum. Please call the Pine Richland School District for the committee dates and times as well as getting involved with the STEAM initiatives.
Ray T February 20, 2013 at 12:06 PM
I appreciate the invitation, but frankly I am not trained in curriculum or arts education. I am merely someone who has benefited from a well-rounded education that was heavy in the fine arts. I rely on my elected public officials, educational professionals, and school administrators to develop and implement our district's curriculum. I am fully behind the philosophy of STEAM, but I have yet to see any evidence of its presence. I, and others, are starting to think that the STEAM initiative was used to justify the $30 million expansion, taking advantage of the current educational buzzwords. Next year's High School Program of Studies makes no mention of STEAM anywhere, while students are preparing to schedule for next year in the very near future. Where does PR stand on it's STEAM program, and how will the Fine Arts be incorporated?
Ruthmarie Hicks February 23, 2013 at 04:08 PM
I'm sorry, I don't live in the area, but I am going to chime in. There are many, many unemployed and underemployed scientists and engineers in this country. I'm telling young people to stay away from STEM unless they have another track in place with "softer skills" that can shift as the wind blows. It takes YEARS to get a doctorate and after that YEARS of postdoctoral training. We don't have a leaky pipeline, its closer to a water main break. Why? The jobs aren't there and the salaries aren't there. In life sciences like molecular biology that first job comes in your late 30s or early 40s. It had better darn well pay! Well it doesn't...and that's the problem


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