High schoolers explore STEM during PBSC’s Bits, Bytes & Beyond Expo
One hundred and eighty School District of Palm Beach County high school students increased their science, technology, engineering and math knowledge during a Palm Beach State College STEM expo held Friday, Oct. 27, at the Lake Worth campus.
The event, which capped off PBSC’s CyberWeek Conference activities, was hosted by PBSC’s STEM academic community in collaboration with the Computer Science & Information Management Department.
Among PBSC students, student attendees came from the following schools: Village Academy, Pahokee Middle-Senior High, Wellington Community High, Glades Central Community High, Santaluces High, Boynton Beach Community High, and John I. Leonard.
The STEM Expo: Bits, Bytes & Beyond offered students 16 breakout sessions on topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, information technology career opportunities, ChatGPT and cryptocurrency.
“Empowering students with exposure, awareness and active participation is the cornerstone of their journey toward unlocking a limitless future in the world of technology,” said Associate Dean Dana Hamadeh, who spearheaded the event with Associate Dean John Hadley.
In addition, students explored program and club showcase tables to learn about PBSC’s resources and opportunities. Representatives from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science were also on hand to offer insight and guidance to students looking to transfer to FAU after graduating from PBSC. Students also participated in a Brain Bowl competition hosted by PBSC’s Ethical Hackers Club.
Glades Central High School student Alexis Medellin, who was visiting the Lake Worth campus for the first time, learned more about how to stay safe using the internet.
“I learned to never post pictures while you are on vacation because people will track you,” Medellin said. “You always wait until after the trip is over which is something I will now remember to do.”
Another Glades Central High student, Paul Glinton, who won an Artie Max robot prize at the end of the event, said he enjoyed learning about cryptocurrency and the apps you would use to start investing.
He also enjoyed learning about nonfungible tokens (NFT’s) which are digital assets that can come in the form of art, music, in-game items, videos and more and near field communication (NFC), a technology that allows devices like phones and smartwatches to exchange small bits of data with other devices and read NFC-equipped cards over relatively short distances.
At the end, students enjoyed lunch provided by Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management Dr. Peter Barbatis and won prizes including Artie Max robots, a Lego Mindstorms Robotic Set, and two Apple iPads generously donated by the Foundation for PBSC.
Hamadeh and Hadley organized the event with the vital support of Post Secondary Advisor Wendy Edwards, and Program Specialists Patricia Alvarez and Claudia Garcia.