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A unique new career fair planned for schools

Friday, Dec. 20 | By Hannah Dellinger
A new career day and festival celebrating jobs in sustainability and energy is set for this March for Fauquier County Public School students and community members.

The School Support Council, a group of parents representing each of Fauquier County Public Schools, is co-sponsoring the event. The festival is called, "SSTEEAM-Fest," standing for Science, Sustainability, Technology, Engineering, Energy, Art and Mathematics. The festival will show students and community members how many different careers use the various elements of the acronym SSTEEAM on a daily basis. SSTEEAM is an expansion of the widely publicized acronym STEM which more narrowly focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

"SSTEEAM-Fest" will feature booths and exhibits from public, private and home-schooled students as well as private-sector, county and nonprofit exhibitors. Lectures, workshops and student-guided eco-tours of Fauquier High School will also be part of the day-long event.

Judy Olsen, a parent and chair of the School Support Council, said that the idea for SSTEEAM-FEST originated from a conversation with Michael Rainger, co-founder of the Energized Research Learning Institute (ER-LI). Rainger was considering organizing another energy expo, similar to one held in 2009 at Brumfield Elementary in Warrenton and sponsored by the Rappahannock League of Environmental Protection.

“At this stage we are hoping to get some people interested in being a part of this,” Olsen in a press release. “An example of an exhibitor might be a local winery or brewery that practices sustainability through recycling and geothermal heating and cooling and also uses science and technology in making their product. Their exhibit space would cover both areas and include things like what kind of education you need in that career field."

Plans also call for each school to have an exhibit highlighting things they do relating to sustainability.

“I’m hoping art teachers will submit art made from recycled/upcycled materials and that we may have some of the projects from the [Fauquier County Regional Science and Engineering Fair slated for March 22] there or other projects that students might want to submit,” said Olsen.

"SSTEEAM-Fest" will be held in the FHS auditorium and new-wing classrooms on Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Schools wishing to participate are encouraged to contact Judy Olsen at (540) 272-1416 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and their School Support Council representative. Businesses, county and nonprofit entities should contact Michael Rainger at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or text (540) 219-0445 by Friday, January 10, 2014.

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