Mannum Community College holds STEM careers expo

Mannum's school students have had an extended look at the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) this week at a career development expo.

Guest speakers from local businesses, goal-setting sessions and hands-on activities replaced ordinary lessons for students from all year levels this Tuesday and Wednesday.

The college's senior school and STEM leader, Kieran Jaensch, said the idea was to expose students to possible career pathways and STEM ways of thinking.

"For the junior school it's just about that exposure, about speaking to people from different professions," he said.

"For the mid-seniors it's about activities."

One student, Shakira Goodfellow, said she wanted to be a forensic scientist when she grew up.

"I love watching crime shows," she said.

Heath Eggers hoped for a career in aeronautical engineering so he could pursue his love of planes.

"I like to go plane-watching in the holidays," he said.

"Last year I went on a trip to America with my family and we went on 11 plane flights - I loved it."

Shawn Harris, exhibiting at the expo on behalf of Regional Development Australia, said his main goal was to encourage young people to stay in the region.

"There's over 1000 registered businesses in the Murraylands, so there are opportunities if you want to take them," he said.

"Connecting with that is the regional study hub (being developed in Murray Bridge).

"Yes, we're a food bowl, that's not going to change; but everything you do in STEM can be connected to other businesses as well.

"We've just got to get better at selling it."

Murraylands Training and Employment's Mick Law said a diverse range of trades were in demand in the Murraylands: cabinetmaking, electronics, automotive, construction, engineering, even hairdressing.

"(This event) is a stepping stone, starting to get them interested," he said.

Each trade could lead to a range of career options, too.

As the Motor Trade Association of South Australia's Lucas Kennedy pointed out, automotive courses could lead to work with cars, trucks, farm machinery or mobile industrial plant.

The expo was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Department of Education and Child Development.