By Joel Hillan

DENVER (CBS4) – The Consumer Energy Alliance along with the Consumer Energy Education Foundation hosted Energy Day Saturday morning at East High School. Energy Day features dozens of exhibits and activities which highlight all the different ways STEM is expanding the energy industry.

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One way was the robotics competition on the front steps of East High School.

“A competition like this really just goes to show kids what you can do with STEM skills,” said Bryan Martinez-Rahoe, a planning engineer for Noble Energy.

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He spent the day talking with the next generation of STEM students, encouraging them to continue to set the bar high as they pursue their education.

“Doing well in school allows you to do things and impact the world in a broader way.”

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Things like creating a school bus which runs off of Colorado natural gas rather than diesel, making it cleaner on the environment and less expensive for school districts.

“It’s really fun, you should just try it out, because you never know what you might like,” said Naomi Nelson.

Naomi is a junior at Coronado High School in Colorado Springs. Although she loves robotics now, she was reluctant at first.

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“When I came into high school I did not really want to do this, but my brother was doing it and he had to stay late every day and I had to stay with him.”

She ended up finding something she really enjoyed doing, handling awards and writing essays for the team.

Andrea Bazan is also on the team at Coronado High School.

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“Even if you don’t have any experience at all, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if you are a female or a male, you just need to try and learn something new and you actually might like it,” said Andrea.

She handled programming and finances for the team last year and is looking forward to new challenges this year.

Both girls excited for the future and full of confidence. Exactly what we need our future STEM leaders to be.

Joel Hillan anchors CBS4 This Morning on weekends as well as reports stories for CBS4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. Follow Joel on Twitter @joelhillan.

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