CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston STEM Festival is back for another year.
Saturday, up to 50 exhibitors showcased their skills, doubling last year's tally, with thousands expected to drop in at Brittlebank Park, nearly tripling the crowd organizers saw in the festival's first year.
Co-Chair Glenda LaRue credited growth to business and community support, and a need to build a stronger workforce.
"STEM jobs are the leading jobs as far as the need here in the Charleston area, as well as nationally," she said.
"Companies from all over the place are wanting to boost their numbers."
The 2nd annual event features hands on activities promoting core STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and math.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career.
Saturday's festival, and year-round Lowcountry STEM initiatives, are in an effort to raise student interest and proficiency in many of these topics.
In August of 2013, Charleston was among 12 communities chosen nationwide, to receive funding to host the festival.
That's after The Citadel, on behalf of the Lowcountry STEM Collaborative, submitted a proposal to the Science Festival Alliance.
Saturday's festival partners will host other STEM events throughout the year. For a look at upcoming events, visit charlestonstemfest.org.