This year represented the first time ABC of the Carolinas participated in the Charleston STEM festival, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and math in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina. Now in its fifth year, the 2018 festival took place on Saturday, February 3, at Charleston’s Brittlebank Park. The outdoor event with 80 exhibitors drew close to 10,000 parents, teens and younger children through hands-on activities, live performances, interactive demonstrations and family oriented STEM entertainment.
ABC Lowcountry members showcased an array of construction careers from a prominent multi-booth station in the inaugural STEM Career Concourse, a specifically designed exhibitor platform dedicated to career options. ABC members shared the Career Concourse with local companies and universities that hire and educate employees in STEM fields. (View full list of Career Concourse participants.)
Pamela Richards, membership director for ABC of the Carolinas-Lowcountry, noted that 29 ABC volunteers came out on a cold Saturday morning to set up eight booths showcasing 24 careers in construction. Welder, electrician, instrumentation technician, and heavy equipment operator were just a few of the construction industry careers highlighted. According to Richards, about 3,000 parents and students walked through the Career Concourse throughout the day.
“The goal of the ABC Carolinas exhibit was to bring awareness of the many careers that can be found in construction. With our trade skill workers aging out, the industry knows that we must introduce the youth to the exciting world of creating the foundations in which we live,” Richards said.
ABC member companies that exhibited were Samet Corporation, Choate Construction, Hogan Construction Group, Gatch Electrical Contractors, C.R. Hipp Construction, Wayne Brothers, Port City Concrete, and Thompson Industrial Services. Sharing ABC’s space were “friends” at Jumper Carter Sease Architects, and the American College of the Building Arts – with additional volunteers from Palmetto Automatic Sprinkler Company, Bonitz, and BuildingPoint Southeast.
“ABC exhibitors highlighted the basic elements of electrical installation, carpentry, welding, and mechanical along with the more high-tech developments in architecture, draftsman BIM/CAD. The students were able to immerse themselves in a 3-D modeling of a K-12 school using the virtual reality of BIM modeling. We all learned what interested the students and look forward to next year,” said Richards.
About the festival – The Charleston STEM Festival is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who are passionate about engaging the community to advance STEM awareness, interest and literacy in the Lowcountry. After the festival, partner events occurred throughout the Lowcountry. The Charleston STEM Festival is an initiative of the Lowcountry STEM Collaborative managed by South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science (SCCMS) at Clemson University.