With Local Schools Closed, Annual iSTEAMM Conference Moves Online

May 18th, 2020

United Way of Bucks County and Bucks County Intermediate Unit (Bucks IU) are teaming up to move Bucks County’s annual iSTEAMM Conference for students online.

iSTEAMM connects Bucks County 7th and 8th graders to mentors who work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, and Manufacturing and is the biggest student conference in Bucks County. Over 800 students typically attend.

In past years, iSTEAMM has been held at Delaware Valley University. This year, it will be hosted online on May 21, 2020, starting at 9:30 am. Students can register and access the program, which will be about an hour, via a private link available through their science teacher.

The new format allows United Way and the Bucks IU to introduce students to an exciting presenter: Miss America 2020, Camille Schrier. Schrier, a Bucks County native, made history when she presented a chemistry demonstration as her talent during the Miss America competition. She is a biochemist pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In addition to sharing live science demonstrations, Schrier will talk about the importance of STEM education and answer questions submitted by students.

“The Bucks IU is thrilled to be able to offer this special virtual iSTEAMM event, which will engage even more Bucks County students than the event typically would! We can’t thank Miss America enough for pivoting to the virtual format!” says Dr. Lindsey Sides, who organizes the conference on behalf of the Bucks IU.

“I sincerely can’t wait to see our own Miss America Camille Schrier at iSTEAMM online. She is an inspiration. She shows young people that they don’t have to be just one thing. They can forge their own path and define the route to success for themselves. Honestly, having her with us for live science demos and to answer student questions is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Marissa Christie, President and CEO at United Way of Bucks County.

To add to the excitement, every school that participates will be in a raffle to win one of two prizes: $5,000 to put towards their school’s STEM education or a one-week residency of the Mobile Fab Lab at their school. These prizes were made possible by generous sponsors: PECO, Comcast, Langan Engineering, Penn Community Bank, PPL Electric Utilities, Solvay, SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions, UGI Electric Utilities.

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