On the morning of November 14th, a small group of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from MS8 went to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. It wasn’t easy to get up early on Saturday morning, but it turned out to be worth it. The Intrepid hosted a STEM Mentoring Café, where middle school kids had a chance to meet with many different role models in various professions.
Each group of seven or eight kids sat at a table and got the chance to converse with a role model in the STEM career-someone who was in the science, technology, engineering, or math fields. For eight minutes STEM role models would come and talk about their experiences working in their field, what challenges they faced, and how they chose their high schools and colleges. Some mentors were science educators, researchers, and NASA employees. Liz, the head of the program Teachers in Space, talked about how she tested space suits made in our very own Brooklyn Navy Yard. A teacher at Packer shared her experiences of becoming a genetic researcher, and then a biology teacher. Karen Kirsch, a woman majoring in animation and web design encouraged us to volunteer, and described how it shaped her career.
It was an opportunity to find encouragement in STEM careers, and to inspire youth about following their dreams.
By Flora and Ariel Schwartzman Miles, 7th grade
Photo credits to Leigh Stumme