Every student has probably rolled their eyes in math or science class and muttered, “When will I ever use this?” The reality of how far science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills can take you and what kinds of amazing careers come from STEM degrees can feel far away for a high school student.
Moer than 30 students from the Goodwill Youth Year-Round program learned first-hand the incredible projects that come from pursuing a STEM career when they visited Vulcan's headquarters in July and met with employees on the aerospace, technology development and innovation teams. Instead of a "summer off," kids in the Goodwill Youth Year-Round Program had a "summer ON."
The Goodwill Youth Year-Round Program addresses the needs of underserved high school students by encouraging career exploration through science, technology, engineering and math programming, especially during times when kids are traditionally out of the classroom. Significant disparities for women and minorities in STEM fields persist, and though Washington state leads the way in fostering science and innovation, there is still a long way to go.
Immersive experiences like Goodwill’s Youth Year-Round Program helped inspire future innovators to pursue careers that can change the world. Instead of spending summer vacations, breaks and weekends on the couch, students in the Youth Year-Round Program spent down time attending enrichment classes and workshops that were both fun and educational. Through the program, students get a front-row seat to the possibilities available when you pursue STEM careers.
Local students in the Goodwill program took a tour of the Vulcan building, located in one of the most diverse zip codes in Seattle, and met with employees who shared their unique work with the students. Employees were able to suggest courses, schools and majors, discuss their own experience getting into their field, and even demonstrated some of their cutting-edge work.
The students wore an immersive virtual reality helmet, discussed the drones that are being developed by Vulcan's Innovation Lab and learned about coding for video-game design. The students came away excited at the prospect of building the technology of the future ... and also wondering where they could get their own virtual-reality headset.
To learn more about the Goodwill's youth enrichment programs, please go to their website.