Mentoring the next generation in STEM
Written by New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) student, Joshua Abrahams:
The STEM disciplines are a set of skills that are increasingly being sought by future employers. While talking to a few teachers at local public schools, I discovered that students were not properly aware of or interested in STEM. So Cynthia Ahmed, Kenneth Ly, Aditya Rawal, and I, along with the Center for Leadership and Professional Development, recently started a STEM mentoring program with a local Newark elementary school. Every week, around a dozen Honors College mentors go to the Camden Elementary School to help students with their math and science homework as well as to introduce them to STEM, college, and careers.
This week was the mentoring program’s first week. Initially, all the mentors individually met with the students, and then some of the students gave the mentors a tour of the school. Anmol Mittal, a senior at the Honors College and an EMT, gave a short presentation on health-related careers, biology, and STEM. He brought some tools to help make the presentation engaging and fun. The students at Camden School had a great time because the mentors were able to demonstrate how the math and science they learn in school can be applied to various careers and to solve various challenges that occur every day. One of the students told a mentor that she “now realized that fractions and division are much more than numbers.” After watching Anmol’s presentation, a student who previously was not interested in becoming a doctor was inspired to enter the healthcare field by becoming an EMT in the future.
As the mentoring program continues to progress, we plan to bring more fun and engaging presentations about careers in the STEM field from other Honors College students. This program could not have been a success without the hard work of Ms. Feghhi and our partners at After-School All-Stars Newark. We are always looking for NJIT students to become mentors and either help tutor or give presentations to these elementary school students.