The Indiana Pacers and Conexus Indiana are this weekend joining more than 40 business, nonprofit and education partners for STEM Fest 2018 in Indianapolis. Thousands of participants, ranging from elementary students to recent college graduates from more than 100 schools throughout the state, are expected to attend. Bryce Carpenter with Conexus says the event will expose students to the "new wave" of STEM jobs through roboticss, 3D and virtual reality exhibitions from partners including Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY), the Children’s Museum and Indy Women in Tech.
STEM Fest runs Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It will take place on all concourse levels and the practice court of the arena.
Carpenter says demand has exceeded expectations. Organizers planned on having about 1,000 people attend, but received around 3,000 requests for tickets. He says the Pacers are an ideal partner for the event because of the team’s track record of community involvement and relationship with schools from throughout the state.
Other partners include Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc., Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, Merchandise Warehouse, Boy and Girl Scouts of Indiana, Purdue University, Ball State University, Indiana University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the University of Southern Indiana. In addition, Pacers Sports & Entertainment will display how it uses STEM, including in its analytics and esports departments.
Carpenter says it’s important to spark student interest in "fast-moving" STEM industries. With around one in five Hoosier workers employed in advanced manufacturing and logistics, and many of those workers ready to cycle out, he says, "It’s up to us to make sure we have the workforce to fill those jobs."