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High School students learn about the aerospace industry at the Space Symposium

It's part of an effort to increase the STEM-focused workforce
An astronaut helmet
Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-20 22:58:23-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The aerospace industry is growing rapidly, and some industry leaders are worried there won't be enough professionals leaving college to replace the ones that are retiring.

"Right now, the population of U.S. Undergraduate students in engineering and science is continuing a 5-year plummet... So it's down by 100,000, give or take," said Senior Data Analyst for the Space Foundation Tom Roeder.

The Space Foundation is very interested in getting the attention of students through a personalized look at the Space Symposium.

“The idea for student tours is to really connect the future stem workforce with the companies who need this workforce," said Space Foundation Education Program Manager Nylah Rampersad.

Students like Harrison High School sophomore Jenna Reid spoke with industry-leading companies and had the opportunity to see space equipment up close.

“It's definitely a learning opportunity," said Reid.

Rampersad noted that these companies were just as enthusiastic as students to connect.

“What is really exciting about it is a lot of these booths specifically signed up to talk to students. And that's key because they realize the value of investing in this younger generation to become these innovative problem solvers they need," said Rampersad.

Reid says she was able to find a new direction at the Space Symposium.

“I realized I'm interested a lot in aerospace engineering and robotics," she said. “I actually was learning a lot about internships, so I will definitely be emailing some people about some things”.

Rampersad says she hopes other students have the opportunity to learn about all of the careers in the industry besides engineering.

"A lot of times when you think about space, you think engineers, technicians, scientists. But there are graphic artists designers, there are architects, there are welders, there are electricians. There are so many other jobs that go into just one space mission," she said.

To connect with the Space Foundation for learning about the stars and beyond, you can visit their website.

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