The PA SEED Ecosystem is continuing the Chief Science Officers (CSO) Program for the 2021 – 2022 school year.
The CSO Program is for students in 6th – 12th grade who demonstrate an interest in science, technology and/ or innovation and have a desire to impact their community.
The overall Program Goals are to: create a pipeline of diverse STEM leaders, foster communication, and collaboration among CSOs, enrich school STEM culture and career awareness, and amplify student voice in STEM conversations in the program.
STEM Program Administrator Stephanie Schwab of the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit (MCIU) recently helped run a STEM panel with students around Montgomery County and the other collar counties and speakers from Qlik during their Southeastern PA Chief Science Officers Fall Cabinet Meeting on November 10th.
“Our goal is to engage adults with our Chief Science Officers (CSO) early in the year and share their career journey. In the past, many individuals are often blown away by the level of competence – especially from our middle schoolers. The primary audience for this past panel was our CSOs from around the 4 counties in the PA SEED Ecosystem,” Stephanie shares.
The benefits of these programs for these students as CSOs is that they are participating in hands-on learning opportunities geared to practice workplace skills in communication, leadership, strategic planning, and team building and practice employability skills such as teamwork, work ethic, critical thinking, problem solving and verbal and written STEM communication with STEM professionals, as well as having their voices heard in their school and community by working on key issues related to civic action and STEM.
In this panel, several students spoke, thus gaining confidence and experience in leadership and communication, and showing the importance of data literacy, showcasing their abilities to understand and create data as information to their peers and the panel.
Poornima Ramaswamy, EVP, Global Solutions & Partners at Qlik, and one of the session speakers explains that Initiatives like the MCIU panel not just help in getting the next generation ready for the opportunities ahead of them but also inform industry professionals how young minds think and what they are looking for to enjoy a fulfilling career.
After their presentation, each panelist had a Q&A session and then they went to breakout rooms for additional discussions.
Qlik is very excited to work with MCIU and STEM students on their panel. Stephanie said that Qlik and MCUI are always looking for ways to partner and help the students advance in their data literacy curriculum, as well as have real-world experience with leaders and STEM professionals around the four counties.
“It’s up to us to collectively make it enriching for students to want to jump into solving for the most pressing issues of our times. The students were not just prepared, energetic and enthusiastic but were inspirational and give me a sense of hope that the next generation will take us to even greater heights. I am humbled to have been included in this panel. Congrats to Stephanie and the team for helping prepare our next generation to bring their best to shape the future,” Poornima says.