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Volunteer Presenters, Sponsors Needed for New iSTEAMM Conference

Feb 11, 2019

Volunteer Presenters, Sponsors Needed for New iSTEAMM Conference

Credit: iSTEAMM. The iSTEAMM conference will be hosted on May 23 at Delaware Valley University.

United Way of Bucks County and Bucks County Intermediate Unit #22 (Bucks IU) are seeking professionals working in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math and Manufacturing (STEAMM) fields to work with 7th and 8th-grade students at Bucks County's new iSTEAMM Conference. Organizers are also seeking several sponsors to ensure that over 800 local students will be able to attend, free of charge. 

Presented by PECO, the iSTEAMM conference will be hosted on May 23 at Delaware Valley University. The iSTEAMM Conference is expected to be the largest county-wide educational conference for students in the area. 

Volunteer presenters are asked to provide hands-on, interactive workshops with the goal of inspiring students to consider STEAMM careers. Presenters are encouraged to develop and submit a proposal for a one hour or 45-minute session no later than April 2. Additional details, including session times and a portal to submit proposals, are available at bit.ly/iSTEAMMpresenter. Organizers will review all proposals, and then select presenters to ensure a wide range of career experiences are represented.

Bucks County's United Way and the Bucks IU have a long history of collaborating to bring high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs to local students, completely free of charge. The iSTEAMM Conference represents a re-imagining and expansion of traditional STEM workshops and conferences.  

"We are excited to be building on our collaborative work in STEM education," says Marissa Christie, president and CEO at United Way of Bucks County, which serves as the fiscal agent for iSTEAMM. 

"By incorporating the arts – specifically design thinking – we can encourage problem-solving and generative thinking. We also want to introduce more students to high-tech manufacturing jobs. Manufacturing is an economic driver in Bucks County and we want to be sure that young people know about these great career opportunities," she adds. 

Each student will rotate through one panel discussion and two small workshops led by professional women and men working in STEAMM fields. In addition to building STEAMM awareness, the conference incorporates the Pennsylvania Department of Education's guidance on standards for career readiness.

“iSTEAMM is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage in career exploration and discussions with local professionals. We hope students leave the event thinking, ‘I’d like to do that and now I know the path that can get me there,’” says Dr. Lindsey Sides, who organizes the conference on behalf of the Bucks IU. 

The conference is led and coordinated by the Bucks IU in partnership with United Way of Bucks County and is hosted by DelVal.

“Delaware Valley University is pleased to be partnering with the United Way and the Bucks IU on a program that will help area students explore new possibilities for their futures,” said DelVal President Dr. Maria Gallo. “Our new strategic plan focuses on expanding community partnerships and engaging all learners in experiential education. This new event aligns perfectly with those goals. We look forward to hosting the students and helping to provide engaging and exciting opportunities for learning on our campus.”

2019 iSTEAMM Conference sponsors include PECO (Presenting Sponsor); Gold Sponsors: SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions and Solvay; Silver Sponsors: PPL Electric Utilities; and Bronze Sponsors: BB&T, Comcast, Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, PARX Casino, Penn Community Bank, UGI Electric Utilities, and Langan Engineering. 

At least eight more sponsors are needed by the end of February to fully fund the conference. Sponsorship information is available at uwbucks.org/isteamm-sponsorship.