Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Photo by Mario Chavez / Flickr

For two days, local students in grades 7-12 will experience real-life applications for the science they learn in the classroom at the Fleet Science Center’s community-oriented High Tech Fair.

The event is organized by the Fleet Science Center and takes place at the Balboa Park Activity Center, 2145 Park Boulevard, San Diego.

At the High Tech Fair, representatives from local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)-related businesses such as Qualcomm, Genentech and Northrop Grumman will present examples of their work and demonstrate to students how the science they’re learning in the classroom is applied to the technology that is used and developed at these local businesses.

The fair is an important venue for STEM-related businesses to connect with students, and it’s free to attend. The event is open to the public on Jan. 17 and to pre-registered schools on Jan. 18.

The event’s mission is to “enlighten students to the possibilities of a scientific career.” Students can learn how math and science play a role in robotics, how rockets are designed to fly straight, how cellular behavior can be mathematically modeled, how physics and chemistry govern the activity of cells and organisms.

Last year, more than 2,500 students from 47 schools across San Diego County took part in the Fleet’s 2018 High Tech Fair. More than 30 companies participated representing industries with a focus in aerospace and defense, biotech, energy and sustainability, environmental science, higher education, technology and finance. Participating students engaged in booths to explore circuits, interact with floating magnets, make laser-cut name badges and experience VR simulation.

As a way for students to get involved even more with this year’s exhibitors, students will be asked to vote for their favorite booths. Winners of the “Best Booth Experience,” will be announced following the event and will be awarded the distinction of being the popular favorite.

“The High Tech Fair is a unique and inspiring event because San Diego is one of the leading cities for high tech in the world, yet students from local communities don’t know about the career possibilities that exist right here,” said Ivel Gontan, community engagement senior manager at the Fleet Science Center. “Our hope is that the High Tech Fair will provide the spark to get homegrown talent interested in STEM-related careers and making a difference locally.”

Transportation and reimbursements for substitute teachers will be provided for participating San Diego public schools. These reimbursements enable the Fleet to serve as many students as possible during the two-day event. In addition, “Community Hubs” have been created in multiple locations in the communities of San Ysidro and Southeast San Diego, where families will gather to receive free transportation to Family Night.

The High Tech Fair is divided into two days: Thursday, Jan. 17 is Student and Parent Night, from 5 to 8 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. Friday, Jan. 18, is reserved for pre-registered schools on classroom field trips, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the High Tech Fair visit: www.fleetscience.org/high-tech-fair.

–Fleet Science Center

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