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The Foundation's Immersive Experiences

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

It’s been a busy Fall for BVEF with five in-person, hands-on STEM experiences for students in October and November.

In early October, the Foundation participated in a Career Day at Sutton Middle School. Eleven professionals from nine career clusters addressed 7th and 8th grade students. All speakers work or reside in Sutton, and several speakers including Senator Ryan Fattman, Samantha Stabner of Whittier Farms, and Officer Brena Perry from the Sutton Police also graduated from Sutton High School. We are grateful to those professionals that took time from their busy schedules to "Connect Experience with Education."

In recognition of Manufacturing Month, nearly 150 middle school students and educators attended field trips to three different manufacturing companies. On October 12th, students from Grafton Middle School and Miscoe Hill Middle School were bused to Saint-Gobain in Northborough. On October 13th, students from Northbridge Middle School and Millbury Junior/Senior High School visited Access TCA in Whitinsville.

On November 30th, students from Stacy Middle School and Bellingham Memorial Middle School toured Dell Technologies in Franklin. Students were given an overview of the companies and tours of the facilities, engaged in discussions about products and different job responsibilities, took part in hands-on STEM activities, and attended a Q&A while having lunch with panels of employees representing different roles within the businesses.

Over 100 middle school students and educators from nine BVEF school districts attended the 13th annual STEM Conference at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton on Saturday, November 5th. Students were treated as if they were in college for the day. They were given a map and attended preselected, interactive STEM workshops at different locations throughout the college campus. Some of the workshops included SnotBot: Collect and Process Whale Snot!, Rocket Launch!, SewIY Mission to Mars: Using Soft Circuits to Build the Spacesuits of the Future, and The Shipwrecked Challenge: Using STEM for Survival. Students enjoyed lunch at the Elms Cafe and then gathered in the Agnes Varis Auditorium for a keynote panel presentation on careers in STEM. Parents of the students attended a comprehensive workshop on planning and saving for the cost of college (presented by MEFA) and pathways, planning, and post-secondary possibilities (presented by BVEF). A big thank you to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University for hosting this event, in collaboration with BVEF.

Thank you to EARTH Ltd. at Southwick’s Zoo for generously sponsoring this year's event.

On November 22nd, twenty students and educators from Grafton High School attended an event at the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Blackstone Valley Hub for Workforce Development offices, located at the Linwood Mill in Whitinsville. The seniors were given a tour of the Hub where they were able to see some of the machines in action through demonstrations and were even able to try some out. They walked away with a better understanding of a CNC lathe, vertical machining centre-CNC controlled mill, bridgeport mills, manual lathes, and 3D printers. The students were shown the universal robots-COBOT systems and discussed how they would use them in training to emulate a true manufacturing task. Several students were able to try out the miller augmented arc welding systems and one student scored 97% on the first try! Students were given a token with the GHS logo created by the laser engraver. The day ended with a presentation given by Access TCA discussing career opportunities at their facility.

Immersive experiences raise career awareness, expose students to different job possibilities in STEM, and to get them thinking about careers that they may not have previously considered for after high school and/or college.

Businesses interested in hosting a student fieldtrip to showcase their company and career options are invited to contact Holly McNeil at

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