DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2014) – Shayla Rivera is a rocket scientist who will have you in stitches. Ron Hickland is one of the world’s most renowned bowling ball designers, and George Hart combines mathematics and computer science to create a pioneering new form of 3D art. All three will share how they’ve fashioned unconventional careers from their backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during the second annual STEM Expo being hosted Feb. 7 by Daytona State College.500 youths expected at 2nd annual Daytona State STEM Expo

The expo is part of Daytona State’s STEM Community Scholars Program, funded by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation. Now in its fourth year, the program’s objective is to attract students into STEM-related fields of study and to support them through scholarships, mentoring and other forms of academic and social support. More than 500 students from Volusia and Flagler County schools will attend the event, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the News-Journal Center, 221 N. Beach St., in downtown Daytona Beach.

“We hope to convey to the students that the STEM disciplines are in play everywhere, even in careers that one normally wouldn’t associate with STEM,” said Joe Mercier, Daytona State’s STEM coordinator. “There is science and technology behind everything.”

The three featured speakers are proof positive. Hart, a research professor at Stony Brook University, is known for his innovative use of computer technology and 3D printing in designing unique sculptures. Hickland is a professional bowler and product design engineer for some of the biggest names in bowling ball manufacturing. He has lectured worldwide on the technical aspects of the sport, including how STEM concepts play an integral part in a bowler’s success.

Rivera has parlayed her engineering background and history with NASA into the hit, one-woman show Rocket Science and Salsa. She has appeared on numerous television shows and is a frequent guest speaker at universities, leadership and women’s conferences, and corporate and non-profit events.

A variety of other speakers, including Daytona State STEM-discipline faculty, also will speak and present during the event. A vendor/partner area will feature information and demonstrations by local, state and national companies and higher education institutions, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, the University of Central Florida, the Florida Institute of Technology, NASA, AO Precision Manufacturing, Energizer Holdings and Hawaiian Tropic.

For more information about the expo, or to RSVP, call or email Mercier: (386) 506-3520,, or Christian Rivera: (386) 506-3711,