Samsung Brings STEM into the CommunityShare open/close
Seeing high school students whose level of excitement seemed that of prepping for a recreational camp on the first day of the 2015 Samsung Summer Science Program at Rutgers University was amazing. It was amazing because what excited these students weren’t the typical summer camp activities like zip lining or white water rafting, it was learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This five-day camp in July for students from high-needs communities across New Jersey is the best of both worlds—they get to live on a college campus, hear lectures from college professors and participate in hands-on STEM activities. The attitude these students had towards having fun while learning was truly inspiring.
The students experienced a wide variety of STEM activities, ranging from analyzing cave walls to determine past climate patterns to learning how to code mobile apps and exploring the relationship between technology and physical fitness. Many said they were exposed to fields of STEM they never knew existed and were excited about the possibility of exploring those fields in college.
While I had the pleasure of witnessing the students engage with the program on many levels, one thing that stood out to me was how these students expressed interest in things outside of the curriculum.
For instance, Denzel, who begins his freshman year at Trenton High School this fall, was very concerned about his career. He asked me lots of questions such as what I did for Samsung and how I got there, intrigued by the seven years I spent as a middle school teacher. But one of his questions that really stuck with me was: “Is it ok that I don’t know what I want to do with my career?”
I told him that he had plenty of time to figure that out and programs like Summer Science are important because they help students like him do just that. By exposing them to a wide variety of fields that are available for them to study, Samsung makes it a point to help young people explore opportunities they may not have had otherwise.
The program culminated in an awards luncheon at the end of the week where every student presented a storyboard of what they learned. All students were awarded a completion certificate with their families and program facilitators in attendance.
Samsung also awarded $2,500 scholarships to two college-bound alumni of the Summer Science: Talia Lawrence and Aliyah Jackson. Talia, who attended the program for two summers, will begin her freshman year at Saint Michaels College this fall to study biology. Aliyah, a three-year veteran of Summer Science, will begin college at Rowan University to study forensic science.
There is a great sense of pride in knowing that the place where I work makes possible such scholarships for students who have a passion for STEM. I look forward to many more opportunities to reward hard-working students through my role in Samsung’s Citizenship efforts.
Corporate Sustainability Team at Samsung Electronics America
ESG > Citizenship