Cambridge School Volunteers’ collaboration with local companies and universities will take a new turn this summer to offer a video series to inspire and encourage interest in STEM subjects. Staff at CSV’s NetPals program, which pairs volunteers who work at one of 16 local partners with seventh-graders for one-to-one mentoring, will roll out the NetPals video series beginning in June. The series is accessible on Cambridge School Volunteers’ YouTube channel.
NetPals school-year mentorship program provides close to 300 CPS students with in-person meetups, as well as email mentoring, for the last five months of every school year. The video series will expand the program’s reach so that all seventh-graders in the school district can learn about interesting research and occupations in STEM happening currently in their own city.
The NetPals video series reflects CSV’s pivot to offer more online and virtual services due to COVID-19 distance learning policies this spring. CSV also believes leveraging corporate partners’ volunteerism and industry expertise through the video series will increase equity in the program. One-to-one matches in three schools intensify the impact of mentorship, but through these videos, a larger number of students will see STEM academic subjects as less an abstraction, and more as exciting, “in-real-life” ways to improve their world and community through particular career paths.
These short video recordings will include demonstrations, explanations of the science behind products or technology, how a company has solved challenging problems, and direct testimony of scientists revealing personal educational/career paths.
Photo: Rachel Brown, Scrum Master, Data Sciences Platform, Broad Institute, explains how to extract DNA from strawberries at home.