Connect2Careers is part of an effort to expose students — in particular, high school students — to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine. Each year at the Connect2STEM event, professionals from across Arizona gather to lead discussions, educating local youth about future careers in STEM.
In its first three years, Connect2CAREERS has provided these students the opportunity to meet with police officers, nurses, physicians, engineers and researchers from various companies — such as APS, Intel, TGen and the University of Arizona.
As careers in STEM are growing in demand, teaching and exposing the youth to different career paths in STEM has become increasingly important, and many of these students have never had the opportunity to speak with engineers, physicians, nurses and researchers about career paths. Through a 15-minute discussion and 10-minute Q&A, presenters provide students with a description of their job, what a typical day looks like, suggestions on courses to take in high school or college, as well as ways to become involved early on.
“Going forward, we cannot rely on luck to create the engineers that we need. Hopefully, the conversations that I have with students and parents give them the information they need to better understand what engineering is and to make an informed decision about whether or not it could be good for them. My intention is to create a spark that will get them to think differently about STEM, the world around them and their places in the world. I like to tell students that one day, I might be working with or for them. I really believe that, and I hope they believe it too.”
— Tyrone Benson, Senior Reliability Research and Development Engineer at Intel
“We really wanted to partner with our community and educate the public on what the UA Police Department does and what type of assistance we provide to the community. With the brilliant minds of our youth, we really have unexpected heights we can achieve together. Everything that we do somehow relies on STEM. This includes the profession of law enforcement where we rely on these advancements in order to do our job consistently, safely and accurately.”
— Sergeant Cindy Spasoff, UA Police Department