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First STEM2010 a success

"It's so important to look at the impact of new technology on the region through a K-12 lens and I think it really raised some good points and made people aware of the importance of the relationship between all these," said Dragone.

There were discussions focused on writing and how to engage struggling students and integrate humanities and technology into reading programs, talks that exposed the underlying causes of students' challenging behaviors and positive strategies to prevent those behaviors from occurring and a speech by the author of a No. 1 best-selling book called "How to Build a Child's Character by Tapping Into Your Own."

Even students had the chance to get in on the action.

"We had some fifth grade students present nanotech stuff they do in class and the robotics team showing off," said Dragone. "It was nice for the kids to get involved."

The official surveys sent out to gather feedback and reactions haven't yet come back, but Dragone said the response so far has been positive and encouraging.

"We've certainly already had a strong interest in having something again like this next year. To have so many people [come] really underscores how vital this is for our region. We had 20-plus sponsors and panels with industry leaders taking time out of their schedules to talk about the importance of this for future of region and that really emphasizes how important it is for education," said Dragone.

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