Video project introduces Baltimore City students to engineers and STEM career paths

February 2, 2021

This story originally appeared in the Hub.

As an after-school instructor for the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, Shaina Gregory’s mission is to inspire Baltimore elementary school students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM disciplines. During non-pandemic times, afternoons would find Gregory at schools such as Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. Elementary School, guiding youngsters taking part in activities offered by SABES Afterschool, a program from the Johns Hopkins STEM Achievement in Baltimore City Elementary Schools initiative that is aimed at strengthening STEM skills in early grades.

But then the pandemic came along, preventing Gregory and the host of Johns Hopkins students who volunteer with SABES from spending time in person with these young students. So Stephanie Buggs, a SABES coach who assists Gregory, came up with an idea: Have Hopkins engineering students videotape themselves describing research they find exciting and fulfilling to inform and motivate the SABES students.

“We hoped that these ‘Meet the Engineer’ videos would continue to provide students with an engaging experience and opportunity to connect with experts that would inspire their thinking about STEM and ideas for student-driven projects,” Buggs said.

A group of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering students who had previously volunteered with SABES were enthusiastic about the idea.

“The main goal in creating these videos was to introduce myself to the kids, despite not being able to interact with them in person,” said Arlene Chiu, an ECE graduate student. “It was also a chance to teach the kids about the engineering process, which is something they learn as a part of the SABES curriculum, and show them that the engineering process is actually used in real life.”

Check out the rest of the story and the videos here.

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