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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Hultgren, STEM Scholars Visit SciTech in Aurora

Oct 27, 2016
Press Release
Students Learn about Career Opportunities from Local STEM Professionals

Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) and the 2016 class of inaugural STEM Scholars held their second meeting at the SciTech Museum in Aurora to learn from STEM professionals and exchange ideas about STEM opportunities in their own schools. Arlene Hawks, Executive Director of SciTech, led the group on a tour of the hands-on museum, followed by presentations from professionals to hear how STEM is used in their various fields. Presenters included:

  • David Alvarez, Project Engineer with ComED
  • Meghan Jantelezio, Senior Design Engineer with MOLEX
  • Michael Brown, AIA Associate, Managing Architect with Cordogan Clark and Associates
  • Liz Foral, ZooKeeper with Phillips Zoo

Scholars engaging with presenters David Alvarez and Liz Foral
(Scholars engaging with presenters David Alvarez and Liz Foral)

After the tour and presentations, Rep. Hultgren led the scholars in an exchange of ideas about the benefits of and barriers to being involved in STEM programs. Students shared the challenges their schools face with either not having enough STEM-specific classes, or students not knowing how to tap into opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities to grow their skills. They also discussed ways in which STEM programming enriches both their academic and personal lives.

“SciTech Museum in Aurora was a fantastic backdrop for our STEM Scholars to see and hear first-hand the opportunities that are out there in STEM career fields. It is exciting to see the STEM leaders of the future connecting with the industry professionals of today,” said Rep. Hultgren. “We discussed some obstacles to overcome in our communities regarding STEM education funding and focus, and lack of hands-on learning opportunities for high school aged students. We must ensure our schools see the value in promoting and getting their students excited about enrolling in science, engineering, math and technology related classes. The students are learning that STEM knowledge is important for every career in the future—from becoming a retail clerk to a food scientist. I look forward to continuing the conversation at our next meeting.”

Rep. Hultgren talks STEM career opportunities with students
(Rep. Hultgren talks STEM career opportunities with students)