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Press Release

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Virtual Career Fair Connects Students with National Experts in Science and Related Fields

~ Science, technology, engineering and math professionals share their exciting careers with students ~

TALLAHASSEE – Across Florida today, middle and high school students learned what it takes to be tomorrow’s science researchers, technology gurus, math whizzes and engineers extraordinaire during the Florida Department of Education and Florida Virtual School’s (FLVS) Second Annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Virtual Career Fair. The online fair was hosted in partnership with Elluminate Technology, and transformed every-day traditional classrooms into a virtual atmosphere that provided engaging dialogue to inspire students and answer their questions about pursuing careers in these exciting fields of study.

“I’m encouraged to see so many students learning about the possible job choices within our STEM industries,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Now more than ever, our economy is dependent on the knowledge and skills required in these diverse fields, and I appreciate the work of all our partners in getting the word out to our young people about the wonderful career opportunities available to them.”

STEM experts such as cancer research scientists, transportation engineers and marine biologists were on hand to share with students the work they do within their respective industries. A nurse anesthetist even discussed stories of her work with patients to ensure the right mix of medications on a daily basis.

“Careers in STEM fields are providing new technologies and advancing our knowledge of the world around us,” said FLVS President & CEO Julie Young. “We are excited to work with our partners and the STEM experts who inform and inspire our kids to get involved in these exciting and diverse career paths.”

Participating experts also provided an upfront perspective on their daily lives and career goals while answering student questions about what it takes to be successful in their jobs. One example included Mote Marine Laboratory Trainer Kat Nicolaisen who shared how resident manatees use their sense of touch.

“Ensuring Florida’s youth have access to the incredible spectrum of educational and career opportunities available, and guiding them to rewarding career paths is critical to their futures and our economy,” said Agency for Workforce Innovation Director Cynthia R. Lorenzo. “The Department of Education’s STEM Virtual Career Fairs provide an innovative and meaningful way for students to connect with the wealth of opportunities in these exciting fields.”

FLVS and Elluminate Technology donated the virtual space for the event and provided technical support for students interested in participating. Florida’s STEM Virtual Career Fair was recorded and will be available for download on Thursday, April 28. To access the download, or to get more information about the event, visit www.fldoe.org/students.

About FLVS
FLVS is an established leader in developing and providing virtual K-12 education solutions to students all over Florida, the U.S. and the world. A nationally recognized e-Learning model and recipient of numerous awards, FLVS was founded in 1997 and was the country’s first, state-wide Internet-based public high school. Today, FLVS serves students in grades K-12 and provides a variety of custom solutions for schools and districts to meet student needs.
About Elluminate
Elluminate, Inc. delivers best-in-class web, audio, video, and social networking solutions optimized for 21st century teaching, learning, and collaboration. The company helps unify enterprise technologies to ensure that learning and collaboration happen in a better, faster, and more efficient way. Since its founding in 2000, the company has grown to provide more than one billion Web-collaboration minutes annually, serving more than seven million teachers and students located in more than 170 different countries.
About the Agency for Workforce Innovation
The Agency for Workforce Innovation is Florida's lead workforce agency, administering the state's workforce and unemployment compensation programs and the Office of Early Learning. Workforce development policy and guidance are provided by Workforce Florida, Inc. Together with Florida’s 24 Regional Workforce Boards, which deliver services through nearly 100 One-Stop Career Centers statewide, these partners compose the Employ Florida Network.