On Friday, February 24, twelve students, who are pursuing their Academy of Holy Angels STEM Diploma, had a unique off-campus experience at the Young Women in STEM Event: Introduce a Girl to Engineering. The event was planned and hosted by Collins Aerospace as part of their ‘Redefining Futures’ strategy. Said Collins Aerospace, “We’ve worked hard to establish an engaging day for the students to learn more about what our engineers do, participate in engineering discussions, and hear about the rewards that a career in engineering may provide.”
Alum Lindsay Bollig Falzone ’13, who works as a senior system engineer at Collins Aerospace, invited AHA to participate in the experience. Holy Angels students joined four other participating schools at the interactive event, who all brought twelve students as well.
The field trip took place at an engineering facility that produces sensors for airplanes. Students had the opportunity to visit the product improvement lab and see where the engineers bring products that failed to determine what went wrong. The day also included touring and learning more about 3D metal printers, artificial intelligence technologies, wind tunnels, and more.
During lunch, students listened to a panel of presenters. The panel focused mostly on the female experience in STEM fields, including advice on how to continue following their interests in science. Sarah Schwab, AHA's STEM experience coordinator and science teacher, shared, “It was good for the girls to learn that pursuing a STEM career is not just about work, but it’s important to make time for continued curiosity and fun. Our students really enjoyed seeing engineering in action – taking oftentimes abstract ideas and seeing them turn into real projects. We were all in awe over what we experienced, and I think this field trip really opened up our students’ minds to new STEM fields.”
As part of the opportunities provided by AHA’s new iCenter for STEM Education, many faculty members, including Mrs. Schwab, will continue to build the school's STEM program, seek more partnerships with STEM-related businesses, and look for additional interactive learning opportunities.