STEM Factor: Student Panelist Shines During Kickoff-Evening Excitement
On Thursday, January 24, more than 100 students gathered at the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Roxbury alongside family members and Boston Public Schools (BPS) staff to celebrate the kickoff of the 2019 STEM Factor programming. The Parent & Student Orientation was designed to provide insight on upcoming workshops and internships while including dinner, networking, and an interactive panel discussion.
Sponsored by the GE Foundation and in collaboration with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), BPS STEM Factor is a program dedicated to engaging students in STEM experiences that are critical to compete in an increasingly tech-driven workforce. This year’s orientation experience was the first of its kind, providing deeper clarity into the program’s mission, offerings, and resources.
The evening’s standout moment came during the panel discussion, where four members of the STEM Factor community engaged with incoming program participants. Those panelists included: Aimee Z. Sprung (Microsoft New England Research and Development Center), Alysia Ordway (Boston PIC), Michael Cole (Procter & Gamble – Gillette), and the star of the show, Davidson Guerrier, a BPS STEM Factor Alumni from Excel High School whose insight resonated with students in the crowd.
“[STEM Factor] has helped me network and improve as a leader, and to speak to many different people without fear of not knowing what to say or what to do,” said Davidson. “It has made me more versatile.”
This year, STEM Factor has expanded from engaging four Boston Public Schools to nine, including:
- Another Course to College
- Boston Green Academy
- Burke High School
- Dearborn STEM Academy
- Excel High School
- New Mission High School
- O’Bryant School of Math & Science
- Snowden International High School
- Tech Boston Academy
As the program continues to grow, excitement is mounting across the community.
“It was so inspiring to see [all of the students] from across the city sitting together. There was a curious and excited buzz happening,” said Tracey Kimsey, Excel High School Teacher Leader. “BPS STEM Factor works – that was made clear during Davidson’s portions of the evening’s panel. And now it’s more than doubling in size. I can only imagine what successes we will see just a few months from now.”
Eva McDonald, Burke High School High School Career Specialist, seconded the impact of Davidon’s role in the panel. “The STEM Orientation shed light on the potential growth and exploration the paid summer internships provide for students. This became evident through Davidson’s story of his own experience in the program and how what was viewed to be just a job, became so much more than that to him and to many other students in the program.”
Over the coming months, STEM Factor students will participate in hands-on professional development workshops ranging from Microsoft Office lessons to Improv classes. Then, this summer, the students will begin STEM-focused internship programs with incredible companies such as Reebok, MIT, and Mass General Hospital.* For many, the internships are the highlight of the year, and a huge part of their participation in the program.
“Students came to Orientation in the pouring rain when they could’ve went straight home after school; that shows a lot about their character and dedication to their future,” said Jacqueline Loro, TechBoston Career Specialist. “I also love how engaged they were while the panelists were speaking. I think they’re really looking forward to being part of the BPS STEM Factor.”
You can learn more about STEM Factor by visiting the program page on the Office of External Affairs’ website. Stay tuned for additional stories and communications as we follow these students on their exciting journey.
*This year’s internship placements are yet to be finalized. Check back soon for more information.