Photo courtesy of STEM Alliance: “Experts from STEM fields spoke on panels about their careers.”
By Steven Rome
Rather than looking ahead to their weekends, Mamaroneck seniors were asked to spend their Friday afternoons looking ahead much further into the future, listening to and grilling 65 experts in fields ranging from medicine to architecture to film during the second annual MHS Talks.
Organized by the STEM Alliance, the event is meant to expose 12th graders to successful professionals from the community in the form of intimate roundtable discussions.
An email circulated by the Alliance, which promotes education and enrichment in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Larchmont and Mamaroneck, said the panels “are designed to let experts share with students details of past and current work experiences to encourage students to be open to finding their own passions in the most unexpected places.”
At sixth period on March 11, the senior class is slated to gather in McClain Auditorium to hear keynote speaker Orane Barrett, an investment banker-turned- local entrepreneur who started the Kool Nerd clothing line, discuss his career path. Students will then disperse across the building for seventh and eighth periods, attending their selected panels in groups capped at 18.
The roundtables cover such diverse topics as the use of robotics for social service, women in medicine, the role of STEM in the fields of education and law, environmental engineering and dance and film production. In addition, there is also a panel for those “undecided in [their] major” featuring three people with nontraditional career paths. Each senior pre-registered for two of these sessions in the week prior to the event.
The panels are meant to introduce students not only to a variety of careers in STEM and other fields, but also to the many challenges of attaining success in the professional world.
“Last year I had the opportunity to learn from two Larchmont mothers about their new local business,” Jamie Segal ’16 said. “They sell unique keychains tageted towards middle school-aged girls in the hopes of promoting self expression and confidence to ‘Be U,’ as their slogan says.
“I was interested to hear about their strategies in promoting their products and maintaining financial success,” Segal continued. “My greatest takeaway was my new understanding of the complexity of running a small business and working to expand and stay relevant. I genuinely enjoyed the program and still have my keychain I received at the workshop,” she said.