Schuler STEM Day 2015

By Schuler Scholar Program 03/16/2015

As you read this on your computer, phone, or tablet, you are benefiting from the expertise of thousands of professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. The importance of STEM education has grown at an enormous rate in the past few decades, and colleges are paying attention. We require all Schuler Scholars to take four years of math and science courses, including Advanced Placement (AP) classes when appropriate, and our partnership districts are offering more classes than ever in subjects like computer programming, engineering, and advanced mathematics.

On Saturday, March 21, 2015, Schuler Scholars from across our partnership high schools will attend the first annual Schuler STEM Day, hosted at Maine East High School. While the program is not mandatory, we expect around 50 Scholars with an interest in math, science, and other STEM subjects to attend and learn about education and career opportunities in these fields.

Saturday's events will begin with a greeting from Jack Schuler, co-founder of the Schuler Scholar Program and a STEM enthusiast himself--Mr. Schuler was a mechanical engineering major at Tufts University and has been involved in the creation and operation of many successful biotech and medical device companies. Following his welcome, Scholars will watch selected videos on how people use STEM thinking to improve our world. The rest of the morning will be devoted to a panel discussion with STEM professionals: men and women of diverse backgrounds who work at companies like Google, Fermilab, Medline, Shure Audio, and more. Panelists will share their personal and professional backgrounds as well as advice for young people pursuing similar ambitions.

After lunch with the panelists, Scholars will engage in hands-on STEM experiences. These exercises will require Scholars to use their critical thinking and STEM knowledge to solve problems and succeed at various challenges. The day will close with a final discussion on what more Scholars want to learn about STEM fields, and their answers will guide our development of future events.

The Schuler STEM Day is a project of Mathematics Program Manager Kip Gasper. Before joining Schuler, Kip taught mathematics and computer programming for 35 years. Since joining Schuler in fall of 2011, Kip has worked with other staff members to develop the math programs that Schuler offers. All Scholars in high school now have the opportunity to work one-on-one and in small groups with Math and Science Scholar Coaches (AmeriCorps members), to improve their mathematical understanding using online learning programs, to participate in after-school programs focused on STEM fields, and to attend STEM-related exposures. Schuler STEM Day is yet another opportunity for interested Scholars to pursue their enthusiasm for this critical field.

Scholars at Highland Park High School work together to solve the math problem of the day.

Scholars at Highland Park High School work together to solve the math problem of the day.

Scholars from Waukegan High School visit Fermilab for the neutrinos tour.

Scholars from Waukegan High School visit Fermilab for the neutrinos tour.

Former Math Scholar Coach Alyssa McNamara, now a student at the University of Michigan Medical School, visits her former Scholars at Highland Park High School.

Former Math Scholar Coach Alyssa McNamara, now a student at the University of Michigan Medical School, visits her former Scholars at Highland Park High School.

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