Burlington, Mass., July 28, 2023 — Haley & Aldrich’s Boston office hosted more than a dozen STEM faculty and staff members from the Boston Public Schools District for a day of learning on June 27.
The group included elementary through high school teachers, American Sign Language interpreters, and district representatives. While at Haley & Aldrich, they learned about resilience engineering, site characterization and remediation, and offshore wind. They also toured the on-site lab and observed a surface water sampling demonstration from the Mystic River waterfront behind the office. Haley & Aldrich staffers then facilitated a workshop to get the educators’ ideas for building corporate partnerships that could meaningfully engage students in STEM.
“Many of us, me included, were inspired and encouraged by past teachers to pursue a career in science. So it is great to have the opportunity to share our experience and learn directly from the people guiding the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Titania Ng, a Haley & Aldrich senior technical specialist who led the group in the water sampling demonstration. “We hope that the insight we provided about our industry can help these educators show students what real-world STEM careers look like.”
Haley & Aldrich hosted the group as part of a new, weeklong externship program organized by Partners Aligned to Heighten Broad Participation in STEM (PATHS) and BoSTEM, a program led by United Way of Massachusetts Bay. Through the externship, these programs aim to bring educators to Boston-area companies and institutions where they can learn about environmental science and other STEM disciplines and then take that knowledge back to their classrooms.
The NASA-funded PATHS program is a coalition led by the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Bunker Hill Community College — two minority-serving institutions that Haley & Aldrich has partnered with to expose students, particularly those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in the sciences, to STEM careers. BoSTEM shares this mission.
Haley & Aldrich Senior Project Manager Kelvin Wong works closely with PATHS to develop initiatives like the externship program. He and Learning and Development Manager Kate Merrill hosted and planned the day’s events alongside Ng and fellow Haley & Aldrich staffers Gigi Eljadidi, a geotechnical engineer, and Anthony Julian, a project manager.
“This is our community, and these schools, teachers, and students are our neighbors. We appreciate these opportunities to engage, and we also know we need to do more, and do it better, to truly build mutually beneficial relationships,” said Wong. “We have to proactively engage and really listen. We need to take our educators’ candid feedback, adapt our approach accordingly, earn trust, and commit with tailored, creative actions. Those actions will hopefully translate to the systemic change — a more diverse, inclusive STEM professional ecosystem — that we as an industry are pursuing.”
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