Astronaut to interact with MPS students via video link at iFair

MILWAUKEE — An astronaut will be among the professionals giving Milwaukee Public Schools students an interactive look at high-tech careers during Tuesday’s MPS iFair.

Thanks to a video link with the St. Louis Astronaut Training Center, the astronaut will interact with students during a panel discussion at the event hosted by MPS, Harley-Davidson Motor Company and the district’s Washington High School of Information Technology.

Tuesday’s iFair – the 12th for MPS – includes a record 24 organizations giving hands-on insight into careers in information technology and engineering.

Students learn about high-tech careers at a previous Milwaukee Public Schools iFair

Students learn about high-tech careers at a previous Milwaukee Public Schools iFair

Among the new exhibitors: BCS, formerly known as the British Computer Society. The group will lend a global perspective to the idea that more students need to get interested and involved in computing technologies to create the future.

“This is an amazing chance for our kids to demystify what high-technology careers are about,” said Lauren Baker, MPS coordinator of career and technical education.

Roughly 600 6th-through-12th-grade students are expected to attend the event in three waves between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Harley-Davidson University building, 3800 W. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee 53208.

Gaenslen School teacher Ajamu Olaniyan’s students will be among the 600.

“It gives them early exposure to the opportunities waiting for them at the high school level and at the college level and in the field,” Olaniyan said. He said his students will see diverse, successful professionals demonstrating real-world applications of what the students are learning in class.

Olaniyan’s students learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through Project Lead the Way, a rigorous and innovative STEM program used in schools across the country. MPS has the largest concentration of Project Lead the Way students in the U.S.

Organizations expected to attend include Harley-Davidson and our business partners: BCS, CH2M HILL, Computer Science Teachers Association, Enterprise Systems Group, Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, Enterprise Systems Group, FIRST, Goodwill Industries’ AbilITy Connection, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Northwestern Mutual, PDS, Project Lead the Way, Quad/Graphics, Rockwell Automation, SIM Wisconsin, Strattec, STEM Forward, TEK Systems, Time Warner Cable and its ‘Connect A Million Minds’ program, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Versi-Fit Technologies, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

Reporters interested in attending the event should contact Tony Tagliavia, MPS media manager, at 414.475.8675.