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Furnace Woods Hosts its First STEAM Career Day

To many, dance and technology may not seem like the most natural pairing, but Justin Wingenroth, owner/director of The Dance Conservatory in Cortlandt Manor, explained the myriad ways these two worlds intersect, such as when artificial intelligence is used to drive innovation in choreography.

Wingenroth was just one of nearly 20 presenters at Furnace Woods' first ever STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Career Day.

The brainchild of FWS teacher Megan Boyle, the event was designed to expose younger students to careers that involve STEAM skills. As with Wingenroth’s presentation, some of the connections were surprising.

A peek into the library revealed members of the Westchester County Police, including K-9s Harley and Trooper, demonstrating how highly trained dogs are employed to detect electronic storage. The officers also explained how technology has become a critical component of crime scene investigations.

Entrepreneur and Hen Hud alumnus Nik Bucci held students’ attention as he described applying the engineering skills he acquired in college to his growing coffee business. When he needed a particular tool to strain coffee beans and realized the item didn’t actually exist, “I used my engineering background to invent the tool that I needed.”

Boyle felt that the event was a great way to bring the community into the school and allow many local professionals to share their expertise.

“It’s been a terrific way for community members to give back,” said FWS principal Josh Cohen.

In the school gym, presenters from Edutek, the district’s technology consultant, talked about drone technology. Later in the day, they piloted one of the drones high above the school building, to the delight of the entire student body assembled outside.

Other presentation topics included app development, cancer research, EMS (with Hen Hud’s own Ken Gilleo), E-sports, accounting, engineering, psychology, fashion and nutrition.

“STEAM skills are so critical,” said Technology Director Vineetha Joy. “This was a wonderful opportunity to introduce our younger students to the connections between STEAM education and future careers.”

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