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Merry Acres Career Expo draws a crowd

Members of Dougherty High School’s Robotics team watch as the robot they built last year is put through its paces Thursday at Merry Acres Magnet Middle School’s 8th annual Career Expo.

Members of Dougherty High School’s Robotics team watch as the robot they built last year is put through its paces Thursday at Merry Acres Magnet Middle School’s 8th annual Career Expo.

ALBANY, Ga. — Merry Acres Middle School was abuzz with activity Thursday evening as the Merry Acres Magnet’s 8th annual Career Expo kicked into gear.

The event, was styled around the theme of “Exploring Careers of Tomorrow through S.T.E.M. Education.” S.T.E.M. is a national program highlighting areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We have more than 30 vendors and schools set up to help get our kids and their parents interested in S.T.E.M. programs,” event organizer Traci Price said. “Each year, the event gets bigger and bigger and we are expecting more than 300 parents and students tonight.”

Price said the purpose of the expo is to build a pipeline to high school and post-secondary education and to expose students to a wide-variety of occupations and help make them make more informed career choices.

Jessica Graham, a freshman at Dougherty High, is a member of the school’s robotics team and seems to enjoy herself as she rode a robot that looked like an odd mix between a floor buffer and a medieval torture device.

“The robotics program at Dougherty is great. I’m helping build a new one this year,” she said. Last year’s robot tossed a basketball. This year, we want to make one that can throw a Frisbee.

“I’m having a lot of fun and was considering a career as a veterinarian, but now I am looking harder at engineering.”

Antarious Scott, a sixth-grader at Merry Acres, attended with his mother. He wanted to look at a possible career in medicine.

“I am interested in health care. I’m taking some health care classes at Merry Acres right now and it’s fun,” he said.

Purviben K. Trivedi-Ziemba was manning Albany State University’s NASA SEMAA (Science Engineering Mathematics and Aerospace Academy) table and said she enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students.

“We are trying to reach as many (children) as we can in an effort to get them excited about science,” she said.