On Wednesday, November 8, SPSG welcomed nearly 75 students from over 16 area schools to our second annual STEAM Career Explorers Event, part of the Maryland STEM Festival. The free event is designed to expose students from grades 4-12 to careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. This year, students had a plethora of hands-on opportunities at the Career Explorers event, ranging from creating new spice blends with McCormick and suturing wounds with a nurse from University of Maryland Hospital, to using tools to shape and create a chair with The Hand Tool School and examining candy DNA models to learn how crime scenes are solved with Baltimore City Police Department. "The students loved the opportunity to see demonstrations from within industries they don't always associate with STEAM, such as the presentation from McCormick, where they learned about spices and Food Science," noted Sofia De Jesus, SPSG STEAM Coordinator.
Eight local companies and organizations participated in total, with Blue Water Baltimore, Towson University Venture Creation, Brown Advisory, and Zest Social Media Solutions rounding out the workshops.
Frank Bonsal, Director of Venture Creation at Towson University, noted the importance of exposing students to tech entrepreneurship, in which he specializes, in middle and high school as they prepare for college and future careers. "Akin to project-based learning, design thinking, and other divergent pedagogies and pathways, it is critical to expose adolescents to entrepreneurship as a way of inducing intrinsic motivation and extending their formal learning into experiential realms," he shared. "Entrepreneurship forges experiences in social and economic impact in ways that a traditional, core curriculum cannot."
Tim Bojanowski, President of Zest Social Media Solutions, who spoke to students about social media management, noted the rapidly changing nature of technology in our modern world. "It's a challenge for schools to prepare students for careers in which many of the future jobs haven't been invented yet," he remarked. "It makes it so important for educators to create programming like [the Career Explorers event] to interface with business professionals who can explain the fluidity of the workforce and how basic communications and problem solving skills can be applied to so many different opportunities."
Overall, the event proved a tremendous success. "We are grateful to have such a phenomenal Baltimore area community that comes together to support and inspire young minds," said Emily Ziegler, SPSG Director of Technology. "We are thankful to the MD STEM Festival for providing the catalyst for such events."
We are thrilled that the STEAM Career Explorers Event was also featured on ABC2News. See the clip here.