ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean the learning stops for Central Texas students.

In fact, there’s a big push to encourage kids to learn about science, technology engineering and math, or STEM,  through some hands-on fun.

Emerson, an engineering and technology company based in Round Rock, is hosting an ‘I love STEM’ day. More than 100 local K-8 students have the chance to take tours and try some demos at Emerson’s Innovation Center.

They will design a roller coaster and build a bridge capable of holding a textbook with just gumdrops and toothpicks. The event is designed to encourage youth to study and explore careers in STEM.

“What we’d really like to do is to expose kids to science, technology, engineering and math the stem careers that are out there and educating kids and having them learn that stem is fun and that there’s a lot of opportunities out there,” said Nina Golder, a Women in STEM adviser.

Emerson officials say there is a shortage of technology workers not only in Austin but in society. But STEM careers are growing at about 17 percent — twice as fast as other jobs are growing so the need is there for these careers.

“We are trying to teach the kids a couple of different things. One is what is the engineering and design process, how do you explore, create, test. design, improve so we want to take them through that process to give them skills but also give them exercises. We also want them to understand what kind of careers might be available,” said Jim Nyquist, President of Emerson.

Students participating in Friday’s event will also learn about electronic circuits as they make maze circuits as well as assemble electronic snap circuits to power up various applications. As well as taking a stab at the ‘Cupcake Factory’ — getting hands-on experience with Emerson’s process automation technology to oversee and operate a cupcake production facility to ensure the facility is running safely, reliably and efficiently.On KXAN News Today, Alicia Inns is LIVE at Emerson to show you the projects the students are working on.