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City, Pinellas County Schools and Jacobs invite students to explore engineering careers

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:  Wednesday, January 31, around 10:30 a.m. at Crescent Lake Park, 22nd Ave. N. and Fifth St. N.

(St. Petersburg, FL, January 31, 2018) - This week the City of St. Petersburg, Pinellas County Schools and Jacobs (formerly CH2M) will talk with middle school students about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. This outreach event will introduce Pinellas County students to the STEM skills and principles needed to pursue engineering careers. Jobs in STEM are increasing twice as fast as jobs in other fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, data also indicate that we might not have the skilled workforce necessary to meet the increasing demand for STEM workers. This partnership is an opportunity for professionals to give back to the community and get students excited about pursuing a STEM career.

On January 31, students from Bay Point Middle School will visit Crescent Lake around 10:30 am. This will be the second STEM event Jacobs has hosted for these students. In November 2017, Bay Point Middle schoolers visited the CH2M office where students learned about the science and engineering behind the City of St. Petersburg's wastewater process - where the water goes and how it is treated and reused, and toured the Northwest Water Reclamation Facility. For this event, students will have a more hands-on experience with water by building a floating wetland island, and exploring the lake through an ecological scavenger hunt. Students will also see a recently constructed stormwater pipe and baffle box', designed to capture and remove floating material and sediment in urban runoff. City workers will demonstrate how the box is designed and performs, and will show how the material is removed using a vacuum truck. The program will include hands-on demonstrations with the Jacobs engineers and scientists.

Since the Tampa office opened in 1985, the company has worked with the City of St. Petersburg in helping plan, design, and oversee construction of its water and wastewater facilities. Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. The company has a long-standing passion for supporting innovative STEM education programs for students of all ages, all around the world.

Said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, "I want to thank the team at Jacobs for their leadership and their vision. They are helping us literally build a city of opportunity where the sun shines on us all. And by being so dedicated to the students of St. Petersburg, and encouraging them to explore careers in STEM industries, we know our city will be resilient and strong."

"I place a strong emphasis on our student's preparation to become global STEM leaders," said Laura Spence, K-12 STEM Specialist for Pinellas County Schools. "In doing so, exposing our students to various educational pathways and careers in STEM allows our students to envision themselves as such leaders."

"We're pleased to partner with the City of St. Petersburg to promote STEM education in our community. It's important to show our middle school students how math and science play a key role in our daily lives," said Katus Watson, Jacobs Vice President. "We are also grateful to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders."

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