PCS EdventureLab – STEM careers of the future

Feedback & tips about the STEM Lab experience from one of the 13 year old students.

Student: So I was at PCS the first spring break camp they ever did at Sage and I remember the first time I ever saw the lab, I was just amazed at how bright and colorful and interactive it looked and then when I started doing the actual robotics building I thought it was really cool how the pieces were different like Lego and they were a lot more versatile and you could do a lot of different stuff with them. It’s crazy and fun and it’s very inventive and self-guided which is really cool, that’s what I first thought when I came here and still think the same way and now I’ve been here so long that the teachers aren’t really like teachers at all they’re more like my friends and that’s really cool because you feel more supported when they’re not there to grade you or to judge you they’re there to support you and it’s awesome.

Robert Grover: Alright, that says it all (laughs). That’s amazing. So you’ve been with us over a year now right?

Student: Mhm.

Robert Grover: And what level are you in the badge system?

Student: Purple.

Robert Grover: And what do you like best? Do you like programming, do you like to do design?

Student: Programming.

Robert Grover: You like the programming. So if you could say one thing about PCS that you like best what would it be?

Student: The community and the supportive, inventive.., like they’re supporting you and they’re pushing you to be creative and advanced in fields that are very important for today because stem-engineering and Mathematics are the careers of the future, that’s where all the jobs are going to be and that’s cool, so I want to be ready.

Robert Grover: So what kind of a job do you want?

Student: I want to do material design. I think it would be cool to do like bullet-proof, fire-proof, water-proof, all that kind of…

Robert Grover: So you want to invent things.

Student: Yeah.

Robert Grover: Invent new materials, that’s pretty cool. So is that chemical engineering that’s involved in that as well?

Student: It’s involved in it yeah.

Robert Grover: Do you know where you want to go to school next?

Student: I’m thinking either Montana Tech, Boston University, I think [inaudible].

Robert Grover: Cool, very nice.

How old are you?

Student: 13. When I first found out about this camp it was just a spring break camp, it was one or two days, three days maybe? And I gave my parents the flier and they thought it was cool because they didn’t see it as a long term commitment but in my mind I knew I was going to come back as soon as I walked through the door because it was just so fun looking so I did those three days and then convinced my parents, well it didn’t take much convincing at all, but I told my parents that I wanted to do more and now it’s one of my favorite extra-curricular activities. In fact I think I might want to do two classes a week because it’s just that awesome.

Robert Grover: One of the things you know, in terms of positioning this program for people, because it’s something that nobody else has ever done. It’s kind of like music lessons, you come once a week but you don’t learn the Cello, you’re learning robots and engineering but really for the people that stick with it, it’s a long term program. It’s like private school, it’s like going to MIT for four to five years on an incremental basis because you’re coming once or twice a week and you’re getting exposed to things that you don’t really have access to in the regular school room, so thinking of it as private MIT is one way to position everything for people.