DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For more than 30 years, undergraduate students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have been using their love of science to spark the dreams of young future scientists.
It's all part of a variety of STEM -- or science, technology, engineering and math -- outreach programs that take children ages 7-17 beyond aviation and into the world of chemical engineering, meteorology and much more.
These are the foundations for jobs of the future, but this program shows young minds that you don't have to wear a lab coat to be a scientist.
Pamela Peer, the director of the outreach program, says these children get the hands-on experience of a lifetime.
"Besides flying the actual aircraft in some of the programs, other hands-on events that spark interest would be using the 3D printing pens, using the equipment in the Meteorology Lab, learning about unmanned systems and any event that involves chemical engineering," Peer said.
Last week, engineering undergrads visited a few elementary schools in Volusia County where they used lava lamps to talk about chemical properties and reactions. For some students, Peer says this is their first time exploring STEM careers. Students are not only learning about jobs, but discovering what their own interests are.
The program benefits don't stop there. Peer says over the years they see those same elementary or middle school students graduate high school, matriculate to Embry-Riddle, earn a degree in science, and then even end up working at the university.
News 6 even has a few products of Embry-Riddle, including anchor Justin Warmoth and meteorologist Samara Cokinos.
Cokinos will be visiting an elementary school on Tuesday to talk about meteorology. Can you guess which school? Vote in the poll below and then come back to ClickOrlando.com Tuesday evening to see the results.