Meet Maritza Ebling, Lead Machine Engineer at Klaviyo. She’s always loved math & problem solving so a career in STEM was a natural fit for her. Check out what she’s working on at Klaviyo and to watch her full video interview, click here.
Ever wonder what it’d be like to work in the STEM industry? We thought it’d be fun to interview a STEM professional during #MassSTEMWeek. During #STEMWeek, we will highlight a few professionals across the Greater Boston area to see what they love about their job and how they got started in the STEM field.
Meet Jennifer James, Vice President of Market Development at nDimensional. Check out our conversation and see why she choose to go into the STEM industry. To watch her full video interview, click here.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s special guest!
Sue Tabb talked with Olu Ibrahim, Founder and CEO of Kids in Tech, about partnering with Massachusetts STEM Week. Kids in Tech’s AI and ML themed STEM Week program, titled Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Ethics, Coding, and Creating Smart Cities, will focus on middle school students, and will provide customizable lessons and learning modules to teach them the basics of AI. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping children gain critical skills and confidence in STEM fields.
WMJX-FM Exceptional Women Podcast | Sunday, October 17, 2021
WMJX-FM Exceptional Women Blog Post | Sunday, October 17, 2021
At Kids in Tech, we call our Annual report the Gratitude Report because we are grateful:
- Grateful for the hundreds of donors and volunteers passionate about ensuring kids get access to high quality technology education in the after-school setting.
- Grateful for our community partners working to make a difference.
- Grateful for our team of experienced staff, volunteers, and donors who ensure all kids see a clear pathway to the tech industry earlier in their educational trajectory.
By Michaela Goss, Communications Volunteer
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced all schools and businesses to move to remote operations, if they were able. One year later, as vaccines roll out, schools and businesses are attempting to figure out life after the pandemic.
Many businesses have already pledged to remain remote for good, while many schools will return to fully in-person operations as soon as possible. A new model many workplaces may turn to is hybrid, where staff will be part-time in-person and part-time remote. For many workers, this approach may seem ideal: They get to maintain the flexibility of remote working, yet they can also go into offices if they so choose. But is this accessible for everyone?
The ability to work from home seems inherently accessible. The worker wouldn’t have a commute, and, therefore, any company could hire an employee regardless of where they live. However, this idea assumes that everyone has internet and broadband connectivity at home, which is not the case. Rural and low-income urban communities, in particular, are more likely to lack internet access at home.
The main issue with this inaccessibility is that people in homes without internet connections would be fully unable to work, learn, or both from home, so they could potentially lose a source of income or fall behind in school. This is what is commonly referred to as the digital divide, or the gap between those with the benefits of technology and the internet and those without.
Many rural and low-income people and families are inherently disadvantaged by the digital divide. However, some cities, including Philadelphia, are partnering with internet service providers to provide connectivity into the homes of low-income students and their families.
The digital divide also strikes in a more tangible form, as well. Remote workers and students can’t do their work without devices like computers or tablets, so some organizations have also donated Chromebooks to low-income students, and some school districts are providing Chromebooks, as well.
The pandemic still leaves many technology-related questions unanswered, though. Are free internet access and gifted devices acting as band aids for the more detrimental issues the digital divide presents? Will Philadelphia and other cities still provide internet access to those low-income households after students can return to school in-person? Will students get to keep the devices they’ve been gifted by organizations? Or will the world return to the divided normal it was back in early 2020 and before?
In a more optimistic angle, maybe the world won’t return to the pre-COVID normal. Maybe these students will remember the impact of the pandemic and the exacerbation of the digital divide it caused, and will want to make a difference. Instead of a return to what was normal, the world could enter a brighter digital age, where more students decide to enter technology fields in order to innovate connectivity globally.
Maybe more students will feel excited, educated, and empowered to enter careers in technology, just as Kids In Tech hopes they will.
by Aimee Khan, Communications Volunteer
I went to school in the 90s. Back then, children of all races and genders were encouraged to pursue mathematics and science as well as interdisciplinary subjects like history and English. A well-rounded education is necessary in being able to decide a path in college and beyond. I find that the state of a student’s education improves with inspiring teachers who encourage them to pursue their dreams, goals, and passions. Schools may also provide resources in the form of comprehensive libraries and internet access, well-reviewed curriculums, and superior after school programs.
The opportunities present for college students today provide an interactive ability for them to rise beyond what they thought they were capable of. As an alumni mentor, I heard from a university student about the use of 3D printers to perform bioengineering experiments and accessible computational courses to further enhance scientific understanding and ability. There is also an increased usage of tablets to convert handwritten notes to typed text, changing the face of notetaking and multimedia resources. Even though much has changed since I was a student, when it comes to education, inspiration is key. Those experiences light up the mind of a student who would have otherwise not known or not discovered their own potential or interest in the subject matter and then they seek a role models to aspire to.
Firstly, students must have the opportunity to be exposed to many different scientific concepts and these topics should be presenting in a tangible way. This enables the student to decide if this is the path to pursue in the future regardless of any stereotypes present based on the student’s race or gender. Usually, self-belief overcomes biased thinking especially regarding skill or merit. Tune into the Beyond the Microscope Webinar series to learn about The State of STEAM Education on April 28, 2021 and hear from our guest speakers.
By Michaela Goss
Massachusetts aims to fulfill two key goals for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education: ensure students can actively engage in data analysis and ensure they can relate what they learn in the classroom to life outside the classroom.
The Massachusetts Department of Education’s (DOE’s) website lays out the state’s standards-based academic vision for what students learn in school. It also discusses how the state’s focus on STEM education derives from the role of Massachusetts as a growing hub for STEM careers – particularly, in technology and engineering. Massachusetts appears ready to build a pipeline of students from the state’s schools into full-fledged STEM careers after graduation.
The foundation for this pipeline starts in elementary education. In elementary schools, the goal is to spark interest in STEM that can lead to a lifelong love of the subjects and a future STEM career, which have some of the highest paying entry level positions. Schools rise to meet this goal by involving students in content-based learning, as well as applied learning.
Applied learning enables students to apply concepts they learn in the classroom to projects or situations either relevant to their lives or to help them visualize the concepts they are taught. Videos on the DOE’s website showcase students building, working together to complete science experiments and learning math as it applies to real-world issues – rather than simply numbers on a page.Read More > “How does Massachusetts approach STEM education?”
By Michaela Goss, Communications Volunteer
School science projects are rarely complete without a giant poster board, colorful lettering and pictures to help describe the project. Technical engineers who build software and websites can’t fully complete their jobs if they can’t picture how the end product will look and how the designs must come across.
The innate logic of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes and projects makes the acronym as a whole seem almost stiff – strictly logical, with formulaic answers and solutions and little room for much else. This, however, is not a full picture of STEM, as one critical element undercuts the field and is often overlooked: art.
This isn’t to say solving mathematical equations and painting go hand-in-hand. Instead, think of the scientific method. This starts with a question, which leads to research and a hypothesis. The mere act of developing that question and formulating a hypothesis based on known facts requires creativity. That creativity could be the spark many young students need to develop an interest in STEM.
Kids are known for having big imaginations, so the idea of a formal STEM education may lack pizzaz or a hook to draw them in. However, when they learn how mixing different chemicals can create a rainbow of beakers, or how to create a Punnett square and draw what that person would look like, or how to create a website, their imaginations are fed and could kindle a lifelong interest in STEAM.Read More > “How the Arts Can Help Redesign STEM Curriculums”
Fluorescence is a tool used widely in the sciences and beyond. But it is also a fascinating phenomenon in its own right. Use the handheld P51™ fluorescence viewer to explore the world of fluorescence right at home!
Learn more about this topic in our upcoming Beyond the Microscope event “Fluorescence @home: STEM Explorations That GLOW!” on March 17.