Exposure to STEM Matters!

Project Exploration values the connection students make to real STEM experiences. Creating opportunities to expose students to STEM mentors and STEM-related environments have been a hallmark of Project Exploration programs. We always seek opportunities where our students can meet STEM professionals and can take trips to labs, nature centers, and corporations. These experiences build our students ability to see the options available to them if they are interested in STEM fields.

Our Junior Board Steps Up

This past year Project Exploration launched a junior board. This twelve member group of diverse individuals meet regularly and have supported various activities and functions.  Most recently, Marletta Wheeler, a supervisor at Cisco Meraki set up a field trip our students. This relationship offered us an opportunity to take students from the West Side STEM Learning Center to Cisco Meraki’s downtown office.

More about Cisco Meraki

Cisco is a leader in the IT space, and most consumers are aware of their home wifi and routing capabilities but may be unaware that they also manage large cloud-based solutions for retail giants and large businesses. Students were able to hear how these STEM mentors came to work at Cisco Meraki and see them in their professional working environment. Mentors offered information about the company’s products and services, as well as their job functions. Students were interested in learning more about how communication systems work in Chicago and across the globe. At the end of the field trip, the group shared about their experience with several students reflecting on what they had learned about WiFi and switches. One student, Mike, shared, “I learned that you could be friends with your co-workers and have fun at work too.” We would like to thank Cisco Meraki for hosting us and Marletta for putting the event together. This experience offered our students a new view of the IT world and how this cloud-based IT company works in it.

Interested in learning more about our Junior Board?  Contact Kennen Hutchison at khutchison@projectexploration.org.

Special thanks to L. Shoulterkarall

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