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STEM Action Center stages seventh annual Eastern Idaho Science & Engineering Fair

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - The Eastern Idaho Science and Engineering Fair stands apart from your typical baking soda volcano displays.

Organizers say it is one of the few opportunities in the state where students can compete individually with original stem research of their choosing. It encourages young people to explore their passion for science as they build  a foundation in STEM that Idaho desperately needs.

"This is unique. Science fair is something that a kid can pick what they're passionate about and pursue it in whatever way works best for them," IDSEF Fair Director Merrie Rampy said. "But more than that, they are building the 21st century skills. We need to have Idaho be at the forefront of STEM."

STEM is one of the fastest growing fields in the state. According to STEM Action Center executive director Caty Solace, STEM jobs in Idaho are projected to grow 15.4% by 2030, outpacing the national average of STEM job growth at 10%.

"These durable skills are extremely sought after by Idaho employers that want to solve problems in our communities and beyond," Solace said. "STEM learning helps students develop creative thinking, problem solving, innovation, and collaboration."

Project focus can range from biology, psychology, environmental and physical sciences or mathematics and engineering. The goal of each, to solve a problem in their community and beyond.

"This generation of students seems to really want to solve problems and help the world around them," event judge Ashley Schaffner said. "They're thinking about others, and that always amazes me to see that they can think outside themselves because a lot of times we think of middle schoolers and high schoolers as being very self-centered individuals, and a lot of these projects prove that absolutely wrong."

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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