STEM Ambassadors continuously note their need to give back to their communities, and their desire to support the curiosity for science in younger students. Ambassadors are also excited about the service learning opportunities that are significant for their science identity development.
Through the opportunities to learn science while engaging in community service, students develop leadership, communication and interpersonal skills that support their preparation for the real world. At the same time, students gain the personal satisfaction from their sense of obligation and moral responsibility to give back to their communities.
Middle School Mentoring
Over the past four years, the STEM Ambassadors Program (STEM AP) has worked with both the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public School District and the Holyoke Public Schools to offer middle school mentoring for 6th through 8th grade students. Our Middle School Mentoring Program has had remarkable success and as a result, STEM AP is in the process of expanding to additional school districts within the local college area.
The primary focus of our Middle School Mentoring Program is to build on middle schoolers’ current knowledge of STEM fields and introduce them to the college experience. STEM AP provides middle schoolers with undergraduate mentors who are prepared to serve as college role models while engaging them in STEM enrichment activities. The mentors conduct experiments and activities in a wide variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math related topics.
Professional Development Workshops/Presentations
Some STEM AP students, particularly our third and fourth-year students, recognize the significance of sharing their knowledge and skills in ways that benefit our entire STEM AP community. We encourage our STEM Ambassadors to demonstrate their leadership skills by joining our faculty and graduate students in developing workshops for our weekly seminars and other conferences/events to enhance their professional growth.
From resume/cv building workshops to networking and social justice awareness, STEM AP is intentional about providing opportunities for students to develop their soft skills while gaining technical knowledge in preparation for their future STEM careers. At the same time, STEM AP is actively preparing our Ambassadors to function effectively in a dynamic STEM workforce. Our students destined for graduate and professional schools are also involved in leading study groups for graduate and professional school preparation including GRE and MCAT test preparation.