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Nipmuc Hosts First Annual STEM Career Fair

Nipmuc High School hosted its first annual STEM Career and College Fair on January 24. Over 30 businesses and colleges attended to help students learn about career opportunities in STEM fields.

Students at Nipmuc Regional High School got a taste of what a career in a science, mathematics, engineering, or technology field would be like at their first annual STEM Career and College Fair.

Over 30 businesses and colleges participated in the January 24 event, setting up booths in the gymnasium to meet with students and answer questions about their companies as well as their careers. Students had the ability to meet with organizations such as Boston Children's Hospital, Waters Corporation, Thermo Fisher Scientific, EMC, IBM, U Mass Medical Center, Hanover Insurance Group, Natick Labs, Milford Regional Medical Center, and even the EcoTarium and Southwick's Zoo. Businesses brought brochures, handouts and displays, with the most creative visual aid in the form of a six-month-old kangaroo named Rufus brought by the Southwick's Zoo.

Dan Barrett, Residential Sales Associate with SolarFlair, one of Massachusetts leading solar panel installers, said they came to the fair to meet with the students and educate them on how solar energy works. He added, employees at SolarFlair have a multitude of backgrounds in the STEM industry. "We are locally owned and operated, and we are always open to try and hire people from the area," said Barrett.

Many of the companies that attended the fair were sourced from the community, through contacts from district families, staff, and alumni. Mary Anne Moran, Nipmuc's Dean of Students, said that the businesses that attended the fair were very supportive throughout the process. "So many people were willing to come here and speak with the students. They found their way to their careers, and now they are happy to help the students find their way too," she said.

Nipmuc Principal John Clements said that the Career Fair was developed to support the new STEM Scholars Program that began at the school this year. The program is "aimed at providing students who have an interest in STEM-related fields with the chance to develop workplace readiness, explore STEM programming at colleges and universities, and participate in a job shadowing/internship opportunity," he said.

Clements said that the college and career fair was two-fold. The first part of the morning was to "give the STEM Scholars an opportunity to put some of their workplace readiness and interviewing skills to work." Later in the morning, all of the students got a chance to walk through the fair. "We hope to introduce all of the students to STEM opportunities and excite them about STEM-related options they can pursue," said Clements. Following the fair, students in the STEM Scholars Program also had a chance to participate in mock interviews that were conducted by the professionals attending the fair.

Nipmuc Regional High School Senior and STEM Scholar Jay Turner said that he had enjoyed the career fair, and was surprised by the diversity of the businesses. "I wouldn't have thought of Southwick's Zoo as a STEM field, but they do focus on Animal Science. It was a good way for me to think of something so basic in a new light," he said. Turner, who hopes to work in a Biology or Biochemistry field in the future, said that the fair was a good snapshot of companies in STEM related fields. "It was a really good opportunity to get to know different businesses that we may actually be working for in a few years," he said.


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