News & Events
In response to Lt. Gov. Tim Murray's recently-announced "WOW Initiative" to promote STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) across Massachusetts, BSU teamed with local organizations for an event introducing local high school students to a wide range of career opportunities in STEM.
Co-sponsored by the Metro South Chamber of Commerce and the Brockton Area Workforce Investment Board, the first ever "STEM Career Exploration Networking" event saw more than 100 selected students explore career options and network with employees in various STEM fields, including video game development, forensics, structural engineering and health services.
Moving from table to table in the Rondileau Campus Center ballroom, the students discussed with the dozen STEM reps anything from typical work schedules to specialized job training to what inspired them to pursue their careers. Several volunteer BSU students and professors also spoke with the youngsters about college life and coursework.
"We wanted to expose the kids to a broad range of opportunities in STEM education and help them gain focus," said Kathleen Lynch of Metro South who organized the event. "We aim to get them on the right college path, then on the right career path."
The event helps promote much-needed STEM training in the commonwealth, said Ms. Lynch. "We need more STEM careers, so we can be competitive in the future workforce," she said. "If we inspired even one student to pursue a career in the STEM education today, then we feel our time and efforts were well spent."
Timothy Gerritsen of Irrational Games, a Quincy-based video game development company, said he was suprised at how many students were already looking toward STEM careers after talking with the reps. "There are a lot of serious kids here, who are looking to get math and science degrees and go into some complex careers," said the director of product development at IG. "It's refreshing."
Apart from the two hour-long networking/discussion sessions, the event's packed schedule included guest speakers and a tour of the university's new Math and Science Center. The students hailed from two Brockton public schools, Stoughton High School, the North River Collaborative in Rockland and Southeast Regional Vocational Technical High School in South Easton.
Keynote speaker was Dr. Arthur Goldstein, dean, BSU's College of Science and Mathematics, who called Massachusetts a "hot bed of high technology," noting the significant amount of pharmaceutical and tech-based companies in the commonwealth.
He spoke about pertinent STEM research needed across the globe, such as earthquake prediction, sustainable energy, disease research, and space exploration. However, he told the students in order to succeed they must pursue a path that interests them. "Follow your passion and I'm confident you will do marvelous things," he said.
Fred Clark, executive vice president and vice president for External Affairs, in his opening remarks, noted a number of BSU alumni who have gone onto PhD programs or to work in STEM careers. Mr. Clark, whose son is studying chemistry at BSU, stressed the importance of pursuing college and even grad school. "The higher you go in higher education, the further you can get in a career," he said. (Rob Matheson, '07, University Advancement)
Read about the "Wow Initiative" here.