Donations help Project Fibonacci gear up for 2017 Youth STEAM conference

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SUPPORTING PROJECT FIBONACCI — Griffiss Institute and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate presented a $5,000 check in support of the Project Fibonacci Youth Conference. From left: Jeffrey DeMatteis, AFRL STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) outreach coordinator; Nathan McDonald, nanoscale engineer at AFRL; Bryant Wysocki, chief engineer at AFRL Information Directorate; Andrew Drozd, president/chief scientist at ANDRO Computational Solutions, and founder of Project Fibonacci; William Wolf, president of Griffiss Institute; and Tracy DiMeo, operations coordinator at Griffiss Institute.

The Project Fibonacci STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) Youth Conference has received two supporting checks of $5,000 each from local organizations.

One check was presented by Griffiss Institute and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate, while the other check was presented by Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS).

Receiving the checks was Andrew Drozd, president/chief scientist of ANDRO Computational Solutions LLC of Rome and the founder of the Project Fibonacci initiative.

The 2017 conference will be held July 30-Aug. 5 at The Beeches Professional Campus in Rome. Students entering 11th grade through their senior year of college will be attending the event, which will include workshops, field trips and “keynote addresses from celebrity experts,” according to the Project Fibonacci Foundation, Inc.

Among scheduled speakers are physicist and host of the Discovery Channel’s “Outrageous Acts of Science,” Dr. Deborah Berebichez; musician, engineer and cohost of the History Channel’s “Brad Meltzer’s Decoded,” Christine McKinley; and physicist, futurist, and author of “The Future of the Mind,” Dr. Michio Kaku.

The inaugural Project Fibonacci STEAM Youth Conference last year was attended by over 100 high school and college students.

The Project Fibonacci initiative is geared to help build students’ interest in STEAM-related fields, plus benefit area companies who are interested in finding emerging employees and keeping them.

“I see Project Fibonacci dovetailing with other regional workforce education, economic development and start-up accelerator initiatives, like the thINCubator as well as other entrepreneurial thrusts in an effort to revitalize our region and capitalize on its many strengths,” said Drozd.

“We must think more broadly rather than laser focused on only what we think we want for the area. We must be open to many, new possibilities for business start-ups, job growth and retention,” Drozd added.

For last year’s conference, AFRL and the Griffiss Institute worked together to provide conference steering committee members, staffing for workshops, event speakers, and tours of the AFRL laboratory, in addition to sponsorship funds, the institute said.

AIS also is renewing its commitment to Project Fibonacci, having been one of the original sponsors for the first conference, said the Project Fibonacci Foundation.

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