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The Central Coast Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Expo is set to return to Lompoc on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4.

The 34th annual event, formerly known as the Science Fair, is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. May 3, and 8 a.m. to noon May 4. An awards reception is planned for 7 p.m. May 4. All activities will take place in the gymnasium at Lompoc High School, 515 W. College Ave.

The STEM Expo is open to the public. Attendees will be able to view projects, engage with students and take in the work accomplished by local students, parents and teachers.

Among those who will be judging the projects are scientists and engineers from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Several activities are planned for the second day of the expo on May 4. Among them, local Lego FIRST Robotic Competition high school teams will demonstrate their robotics skills, and the Vandenberg Air Force Base Civil Air Patrol is slated to demonstrate high-altitude balloon science.

Col. Kris Barcomb, a 30th Space Wing Operations Group commander, will be the keynote speaker at the May 4 awards reception, at which cash prizes and awards will be presented.

The event’s primary sponsor is the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Vandenberg Section, which bills itself as the world's largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace professional. The AIAA Vandenberg Section consists of more than 120 civilian, military and contractor personnel supporting Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Central Coast.

Other major contributors include the Endeavour Center, a teacher’s resource and student outreach center; The Quady Foundation, which is sponsoring a $500 scholarship to the overall top project; the Science Applications International Corporation; Information Technology Company; the International System Safety Society’s Central California Chapter; ManTech Systems Engineering and Advanced Technology Group; Aerospace Corporation; Lompoc High School; and Lompoc Unified School District.

For more information, visit www.ccstemexpo.org.

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