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STEM Challenge: A Student's Perspective

Veronica Graves, a high school sophomore, is one of 30 Bartlett High School students who participated in the BVEF STEM Challenge Series in January and February.

Learn about her experience below.

Wait...what BVEF STEM Challenge Series?

Thanks to the collaborative efforts between Dell Technologies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and BVEF, students were able to learn and apply knowledge and skills as they worked in teams to devise solutions to more effectively utilize an AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot).

As a capstone, students participated in a session with WPI and BVEF. The Assistant VP for Enrollment Management & Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid from WPI spoke with students about how engaging in these experiences can enhance their college application. Current engineering ambassador students and alumni shared how skills such as critical thinking, communication, and role dynamics acquired through project based learning opportunities have positively impacted both their personal and professional lives.

Here is Veronica's experience in her own words:

"Attending the STEM/ soft skills seminar provided me with new ideas and information that will help me during College application processes as well as future careers.

The seminar had us look at things from a different angle and gave us tools to ensure our future success. Gaining insight into efficiencies for problem solving, tips for working on a team, and aides for making presentations more effective. Instead of teaching theory we were able to apply these skills together while exploring the DELL AMR project. Not only was the application of skills effective but was also an interesting topic on robotics and engineering.

I think at this stage in our high school careers many of us are eagerly exploring Colleges with hope of attendance. This seminar provided the basics on things we want to analyze prior to sending our applications but also provided additional details we may have overlooked without their guidance. Many of us are active in our school community but may have questions on essay writing. Others may think they know what College they plan to attend but did not think of cost, location or scholarships. Something I thought was interesting was that the instructor stressed that traveling during college was important. I have always wanted to travel after college but never considered that I could bridge these two desires. Another area I found interesting was the ability to switch majors. I think, at my age, it is daunting to have to know what I think my future self will be successful at. Knowing I can change my mind gives me the ability to explore more avenues without the fear of regret. This seminar gave many of us a new way of looking at our future and how we will best tackle the next step in our educational career. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and will use many key components of this seminar as I apply to schools but even in my everyday school life."

Thank you, Veronica, for sharing how problem-based learning has impacted you!


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