Congresswoman Robin Kelly, representing the 2nd Illinois’ Congressional district, was on the road again this past Saturday, hosting a “STEM Boot Camp” at Kankakee Community College. Twenty-five junior high school students learned about solar power and other renewable energy sources at the camp, including learning about sustainability and participated in an interactive presentation on solar-photovoltaic energy, a process by which solar energy is converted into electricity using solar panels.
“There are so many students in our communities that already possess extraordinary technological skills,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “With the right encouragement and exposure to STEM careers through these boot camps, students can become our future designers and inventors who will go on to cure diseases, discover new sources of clean energy and halt global warming.”
Presenters included Akin Carter, co-founder of the Black Oaks Center for Sustainable & Renewable Living, and KCC Professor Tim Wilhelm, nationally recognized for his extensive work in renewable energy projects. Kankakee Community College has also achieved national recognition for its leading-edge training in renewable energy. Last year, KCC was named the Accredited Clean Energy Training Provider of the Year by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).
Jus last week, Congresswoman Kelly hosted twenty-five Coolidge Middle School students from South Holland at South Suburban College for a “STEM Boot Camp.”
Congresswoman Kelly regularly hosts STEM Boot Camps throughout the 2nd Congressional District. In December of 2013, a boot camp for students from Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School promoted science, technology, engineering and math education. Sixth graders learned about the latest in 3D technology using the Wanger Family Fab Lab, a workshop that allows students to dream up, design and make almost anything they can imagine using cutting-edge software and equipment. That event was held at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Rep. Kelly is also a co-chair of the newly-formed Diversifying Tech Caucus, which aims to increase diversity in the technology field. Members of both chambers of Congress on Monday launched a bipartisan caucus aimed at getting more women, minorities and veterans into the tech sector, reported The Hill. In coming weeks, the new caucus will aim to combat that trend by studying the issues, intensifying focus on specific obstacles and forming a congressional advisory council of “tech-friendly” staffers from across the Capitol.