Dibia DREAM and the City of Miami Gardens partnered for DREAM STEM Fest, a free, community-wide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event for local families at the Hard Rock Stadium.

Nearly 300 students participated in STEM projects and activities, including engineering and launching water-powered rockets; wiring a functional Bluetooth speaker; learning to disc jockey; creating stress balls; testing electricity and circuits; and attending the environmental lab to create tornado and wind turbine models. Students rode hovercrafts and played basketball, golf and football, understanding biomechanics and sports science.

“Our goal is to inspire the next generation of innovators and problem solvers to dream big by providing them with the tools they need to succeed,” said Brandon Okpalobi, founder of Dibia DREAM. “Creating meaningful impact takes consistency and community. This is why it was important for us to partner with local institutions and leaders to emphasize available resources.”

A 2019 White House report found that nearly 80% of high school graduates are not prepared for the difficulty of college-level courses. It’s one of many that suggest high-paying tech roles will go unfilled because of the lack of exposure early and often enough for children.

The inaugural DREAM STEM Fest convened community partners, elected officials, organizations and families to promote STEM education collectively. Representatives from Miami Dade College, Miami Tech, St. Thomas University and the University of Miami hosted individual booths to introduce and answer questions about STEM majors and careers. Each organization brought science-based demonstrations for participants to explore, and the University of Miami led an interactive heart dissection.

Attendees met industry professionals, learning more about their careers and exciting fields along with Councilman Robert L. Stephens III, Commissioner Oliver Gilbert, representatives from 4M and Formula One.

“We’re excited to continue growing our partnership with Dibia DREAM and creating learning opportunities for Miami Gardens families,” said Miami Gardens Councilman Stephens. “We hope this event and partnership encourages our kids to pursue careers in these fast-growing fields and become the leaders of tomorrow.”