As part of Mall of America’s 30th Birthday celebration, the mall-wide event aims to inspire youth showcasing a variety of STEAM careers in action
June 16, 2022 – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects more than 1 million STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) jobs will have been added by the year 2030, meanwhile in 2022, the national shortfall of highly-skilled technical workers hit 3.4 million.
In an effort to increase awareness and provide opportunities, including educational and career pathways, to K-12 youth and their families, the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) along with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MinnState) will host EXPERIENCE STEAM at Mall of America August 10 – 14, 2022.
Utilizing nearly every inch of common area space inside and outside the 5.6 million square foot retail and entertainment destination, the week-long event will feature a spectrum of STEAM opportunities for attendees, regardless of age, academic background or social constraints, including experiential learning activity booths, professional development workshops, student camps, robotic competitions, advanced skills training and more. All aspects of the event will be free and open to the public.
“Throughout the past six months, Mall of America has taken a trip down memory lane with our guests, celebrating 30 years of delivering incredible retail, dining, and experiences to millions of people from all over the world, but now, it’s time to look towards the future and celebrate what’s ahead,” said Jill Renslow, Executive Vice President of Mall of America. “We are honored to be the host site for EXPERIENCE STEAM. The event truly brings to life the importance of helping engage and shape the future for our youth with an opportunity to learn about what inspires them and how they can create their future with that spark of inspiration.”
Attendees will be presented with the experience, then provided a direct educational pathway from secondary school, through two-year technical colleges, all the way to sustainable and exciting technical STEAM careers. Organizations from across the United States will be joining forces to provide hands-on learning experiences in agriculture, autonomy and transportation, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and general education.
“Often times, the path from secondary education to either post-secondary education or the workforce can be unclear,” said Aaron Sykes, NCAT STEAM Outreach Coordinator. “How can a middle or high school student know what their future career will look like if they are unsure what their options are? How can a passion be developed if a student hasn’t been given the opportunity or experience to learn? These are questions we hope EXPERIENCE STEAM will help provide answers to as this unique event seeks to meet people where they are at in both the physical and academic or professional sense, then give them a clear vision of their potential future. We are thrilled to have this one-of-a-kind event come to life at Mall of America and with the help of so many partners.”
All EXPERIENCE STEAM booth activities, workshops and camps are free and open to the public with pre-registration required for workshops and camps. To learn more and to pre-register for specific workshops and camps, visit EXPERIENCE STEAM – National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT) (ncatech.org).
ABOUT MALL OF AMERICA
At 5.6 million square feet, Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in North America with more than 520 world-class retail stores and restaurants; Nickelodeon Universe, the nation’s largest indoor theme park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium; FlyOver America; Crayola Experience; The Escape Game; more. The Mall opened in 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and adjacent to the MSP International Airport. Follow Mall of America on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Mall of America app from the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android.
The National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) was formulated through the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) program. As the first national ATE center in autonomous technologies, NCAT is crafting, adapting, and implementing educational resources to support K-12 educators, and two-year college faculty in numerous disciplines to meet workforce demands while increasing the quality and diversity of the highly skilled technical workforce.