RIDGWAY — Elementary students from Elk and Cameron counties gathered Thursday at the Awakening Christian & Alliance Missionary Church, where they learned about careers in science, technology, engineering and math from local residents in those fields.

Organizers of the STEM Career Showcase said the event was developed with state-sponsored career initiatives in mind.

“Recently, the Pennsylvania education system has put in some standards for career awareness,” Natalie Aiello, of Penn State’s Elk County Extension Office said.

The showcase was organized by the Extension Office, the Community Education Centers of Elk and Cameron Counties, and several other regional entities. Representatives from several local business participated, guiding the youth through activities demonstrating STEM concepts.

In the math corner was Kuleck Financial Planning, and on the agricultural science side was Big Maple Farm’s Natural Therapies. For the engineering portion, the young people worked from kits to build “bristle bots,” tiny robots made from electric toothbrush motors.

Anne Herzing, of the Community Education Centers, said that while the participants are young, it’s never too early for them to start thinking about what they want to do when they grow up.

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