Inspiring Cambridge Youth through STEAM
9/14/2023 • 2 months ago
This summer, BioMed Realty and the City of Cambridge teamed up to provide local Cambridge teens with a valuable, hands-on introduction to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) careers at some of the world’s most innovative companies.
Through the STEAM Career Exploration program, local teens spent a week visiting four of BioMed Realty’s tenants: Alnylam, Pfizer, SmartLabs, and Siena Construction, shadowing employees and learning more about their roles and career paths. With this behind-the-scenes look at the STEAM workforce, the Cambridge STEAM Career Exploration Program aims to lower barriers to access for those most impacted by systemic inequities, ensuring that all community members have access to high-quality STEAM programming, resources, and skill-building opportunities.
Jacob, a rising junior at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School who participated in the STEAM Career Exploration Program this summer, was taken aback by how dynamic the workplaces he visited were.
“I always thought that most workplaces would have these huge areas of offices with people just sitting at their desks typing,” said Jacob. “When I visited these companies, it was more lively. People weren’t stuck at their desks.”
Jacob credits his mother for sparking his interest in the life sciences from an early age. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and would often take him to the office with her. Jacob relived his experiences of watching scientists conducting vital research and development while visiting Pfizer this summer.
“When I went to Pfizer, we heard about how medicine is made and the testing that happens,” said Jacob. “They also let us see mice lungs under a microscope and taught us how to check whether the samples have cancer in them.”
While Jacob has been most interested in pursuing computer science and computer engineering throughout high school, his Pfizer visit inspired him to broaden his horizons.
“[Visiting Pfizer] got me thinking about ways to combine the two – biology and engineering –
in my future career,” said Jacob.
The STEAM Career Exploration Program was part of the City’s Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program.
Cambridge-based STEM companies like BioMed Realty can reach out to the City’s STEAM Internship Coordinator, Nina Nolan, to find out how they can support Cambridge teens in gaining worksite experience. Contact Nina at email@example.com. Learn more about the Cambridge STEAM Initiative at www.cambridgema.gov/STEAM.
Photo: Jacob, a teen who participated in the STEAM Career Exploration Program, learns about STEM careers at a BioMed Realty site.