Students are taking an interest in science, technology, engineering and math beyond the classroom by applying to S.T.E.M. internships, and even jobs.
As part of the program, high school junior Stephen Lyons is shooting a laser as part of his part-time job as a laser engraving at Brea manufacutring company M.R. Mold.
“I think it is beneficial in helping me know what I would like to do in the future,” says Lyons.
He interned at M.R. Mold last year, and now some of his classmates are taking a tour of the company as part of the Career Pathways program that the Brea Olinda Unified School District offers.
“You get to see a lot of the aspects of computer programming and computer science, which is what I’m interested and hopefully can do in the future,” Lyons says.
The district has partnered with companies like Boeing and M.R. Mold to help students who know what they want to do actually do it.
“I think they really enjoyed it because we had them doing real world work instead of fill-in things like I think they did at some of the other internships,” said M.R. Mold CEO Rick Finnie.
Lyons' new skills are helping him get ahead of the game, and S.T.E.M.-related jobs are ripe for the picking for students who have the experience and skills.
“I think it’s definitely beneficial towards the students. It opens up lots of future job opportunities and helps them figure out what they want to do hopefully in the future,” says Lyons.
Beginning in 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor says five million jobs will have been available in science and engineering by 2026.
“We’re looking for help in this industry. We’re trying to get young people to understand manufacturing exists,” commented Finnie.
It doesn’t hurt that shooting lasers beats the job description for pretty much any other high school gig.
“We’re showing them a laser engraver and when I was younger in this industry, laser… that was like something we saw in movies,” says Finnie.