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Matthew Zaragoza

Owner, Zaragoza Graphics

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Reaching out to High School students about job in STEM fields.

A lot of high school students have no idea what engineers, physicists, or mathematicians actually do. How would you get these jobs in the minds of high school students?

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    May 5 2013: Hopefully, the incoming Next Generation Science Standards will change this fact so that more students will have exposure to careers in math, science, and engineering. Universities are the easiest way to outsource this project through a variety of different mediums: open houses, college visit days where students are shown labs, meeting with a professor, etc. My favorite method concerning a university would be to involve university students in workshops that allow students to work on engineering projects while also interacting with college students to get high school students interested in STEM.

    The current method of industrial exposure for undergraduate engineers is plant visits and shadowing engineers. I think it would be a good idea to offer plant visits to high school students as well. I grew up in northwest Ohio and had the opportunity to visit First Solar's plant near my hometown during my senior year of high school. It made me really interested in engineering and I was less scared of industrial plants. I don't think students are too young to be exposed to engineering in this form. In fact, the sooner, the better. In order to show students what engineers, physicists and mathematicians do, bring high school students to engineers, physicists and mathematicians. Let those actually employed in field showcase their work.
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      May 5 2013: I wholeheartedly agree. I did a fair amount of K-12 outreach volunteer work for my school when I was an undergraduate, and the only things that seemed to resonate with the kids in any meaningful way were live (and sometimes interactive) demonstrations of how fascinating, practical, and powerful STEM fields really are. Ten minutes in the lab was worth far more to them than an hour of talk.

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