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(West Plains) – Area businessmen, scientists, health care workers, engineers, computer experts and mathematicians are invited to participate in an upcoming expo April 5 to provide information to area students and their parents about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The event, called the South Central Missouri STEM Expo, will be held 9 AM to 3 PM in the student recreation center at Missouri State University-West Plains. It is being sponsored by the university, Math Educators of South Central Missouri (MESCM), the Missouri State University Math & Science Club, Philanthropic Women for Education, West Plains Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI).

According to Jerry Trick, assistant professor of math and an organizer of the event, the expo will be different than a career fair, where people fill out job applications and hope to make a connection with an employer. At this event, Trick says that representatives from area STEM-related businesses and industries will be available to help students learn about STEM careers and what degrees they should pursue in order to qualify for a job in that field.

STEM-related jobs are some of the fastest growing and highest paying jobs locally, regionally and nationally. According to the Community College Journal (Oct./Nov. 2012) issue, more than two million STEM-related jobs are expected to be generated over the next two years. Officials at the U.S. Department of Commerce pointed out in a report from 2011 that over they past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs.

Representatives from area businesses, industries and agencies who would like to share their experience with area students, middle school-aged and above, should contact Jerry Trick at 417-255-7292 by February 15 to reserve booth space.

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