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Nano Utica inspires students at local technology show

By ANNA MEILER

MARCY, N.Y. (WKTV) -- If you're into science and technology, it's an exciting time to be in Utica.

Middle and high school students from all over Upstate New York gathered to show off their technology projects at the 13th annual Technology Education Showcase at SUNY IT Thursday.

Students also took part in carbon dioxide car races and junkyard wars.

"A hands on approach to learning, critical thinking, problem solving, it's just an overall great event," said Chris Jensen, a technology instructor at Whitesboro High School.

Beyond team work and collaboration, SUNY IT's outreach coordinator says the tech show also stresses the importance of Science Technology Engineering and Math or rather, STEM-based learning.

"In Utica in particular STEM is going to be everyone's ticket for economic success and that's because for example, Nano Utica is going to bring so many jobs to this region," said Elizabeth Rossi, K-12 outreach coordinator at SUNY-IT.

At the tech show, students can see a small scale version of Nano Utica's cleanroom being built right at SUNY-IT. You can even step into a clean suit and feel what it would be like to work at Nano Utica. Many students at the tech show hope that may one day be reality.

"That's one of the reasons I want to go to SUNY IT- it's close to home and this big nano tech center. I  want to become an engineer that's a big part of- civil, nano tech engineering, electrical engineering so they're going to be looking for so many people to work in that building," said Michael Palmieri, a senior at Whitesboro High School.

Nano Utica will be complete at the end of the year, so they're urging the younger generations to get ready now.

"To get these kids introduced to it now and start getting the idea out there, getting it in their head that we're going to need these engineers and technicians to do this kind of work so it's really good to get them informed about it now," said Craig Diddle, project manager for M&W Group.

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