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Central Valley Middle Schoolers Have 'Dinner With A Scientist'

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

More than 200 middle and high school students from San Joaquin County got the chance to see what a career in science, technology, engineering, or math might be like. The students sat down for an event called “Dinner with a Scientist.”

Land Surveyor Christopher Martin gave a few facts about his job to the students at his table.

“So all of you guys came in here, so none of you knew what a land surveyor was so let’s change that.”

Seventh graders through 12th graders from schools came to dinner with engineers, doctors, and computer programmers to name a few.

Forty professionals tweaked the students’ interest as they rotated around the room spending time at different tables. Nancy Stenzler with the San Joaquin County Office of Education says the program focuses on a variety of possible careers.

“They can actually sit down and go to a table with a mechanical engineer, then go to a table with a civil engineer, so it gives them a deeper perceptive and understanding of the job of what an engineer would do day in, and day out.”

Microbiologist Dee Matteucci guided her dinner guests to a microscope before the main course.

“Like if we’re dealing with tuberculosis, have you heard of that?," Matteucci asks a student.

For 7th grader Maliah Thompson, the medical field is her first choice.

“I find it very interesting that all of these things can grow, and all these viruses can be in us now and you get to experience these.”

And the future generation of scientists is hopefully at hand.

 educationsciencesan joaquin

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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