Hundreds of middle schoolers to get a sneak preview of potential science careers


About 400 IUSD middle school students will get a chance to explore potential careers in physics, robotics, technology, health and much more during a special science conference at UCI next week.

We’re told topics for the 20th annual Middle School Science Career Options Conference, which will be held Dec. 13 at the university’s Social Science Complex, are set to include: “The Search for Alien Life: Science Fiction Becoming Reality,” “We Are the Robots: From the Ancients to Mars Rovers,” “Forensic Science: The ‘Real’ CSI” and “Careers in Entomology – What’s Bugging You?”

Best of all, the presentations will be led by real scientists from UCI, the Discovery Science Center, the Columbia Memorial Space Center and a number of other reputable employers.

The conference will kick off at 9:40 a.m. with the first of four breakout sessions. Based on their interests, students will be able to select from a menu of 26 speakers and subjects.

The Middle School Science Career Options Conference was established years ago to boost student interest in science-related careers – and to encourage middle schoolers to enroll in science courses when they reach high school. Originally funded by a now-expired grant from the National Science Foundation, the program has endured thanks to the support of the Western Digital Foundation, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation and funds donated through the Irvine Science Alliance.