Celebrating Diversity in STEM: Simone Fermin
This February, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Office of External Affairs will be celebrating Black History Month by spotlighting incredible members of Boston’s STEM workforce. A huge thank you to these talented individuals who volunteered to share their stories as we honor STEM diversity and encourage students interested in a STEM career path.
Discovering your passion and making it a career is not a luxury everyone gets to experience, but for Simone Fermin, STEM education helped her achieve just that. As a Control Systems Engineer at GE Aviation, Simone has the incredible task making flight possible, working on the ‘brain’ (a computer) of a military helicopter engine. She designs logic so that the engine can perform in a wide range of expected and unexpected operating conditions in the safest way possible.
Q: What motivated you to enter the STEM workforce?
A: I wanted a job that was challenging, interesting, and meaningful. I enjoy constantly learning. At the end of the day, a pilot’s life depends on my work, and it raises the stakes.
Q: What has been your proudest career achievement?
A: I showed up in Ohio to support engine testing (when I was a Performance Engineer) and a lot of things were going wrong that was holding up engine testing. It was pretty stressful and there was a lot of on-the-spot problem solving, but I was able to fix everything in a couple of hours and get the test moving again. It felt great.
Q: Why is it important for today’s students to actively engage in STEM learning?
A: The worst thing is to work very hard to land a full-time job and then be bored eight hours a day. STEM provides a pathway into a multitude of diverse fields that are constantly evolving and require constant learning. The greatest advancements of our time have been achieved due to the STEM disciplines. STEM learning equips you with top-tier tools as you embark on your journey to discover your future.
Q: If you could give your high-school self career or life advice, what would it have been?
A: (1) Spend time thinking about your future. During high school, a lot of people are helping you plan your life, but after high school you will be the only captain of your ship. Make sure it’s headed in the direction you want it to go. (2) Never let anyone – including yourself – limit your potential. (3) Try anything you’re remotely interested in at least once. You never know, you may discover your passion.
Boston Public Schools believes that an immersive STEM program is more than just teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills. STEM education is an all-encompassing experience that encourages students to solve problems and seek inquiries that are relevant to our current society using STEM competencies to address challenges. Thank you, Simone, for including your voice in this important conversation.