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STEM Community Day at BCCC draws techies, techies-to-be

Bill Fleming | 12/13/2013, 6 a.m.
Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) held a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Community Day, Saturday, November 23, 2013 on the Liberty Campus where area residents had a chance to participate in robotics and modern machine operations demonstrations including a 3D printer, programming and STEM information sessions. Above, Students from the BCCC Upward Bound Math-Science Program visit showcased universities and companies to inquire about job opportunities in the STEM fields. Courtesy Photo

— Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) held a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Community Day, Saturday, November 23, 2013 on the Liberty Campus where area residents had a chance to participate in robotics and modern machine operations demonstrations including a 3D printer, programming and STEM information sessions.

The event drew a large turnout from area high schools including a robotics team from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and area teenagers’ robotics clubs. BCCC STEM scholars studying under a National Science Foundation grant joined participants in the College’s Upward Bound Math-Science program and Year Up, a community college pilot at BCCC. Year Up offers young people ages 18-24 the opportunity to earn college credit and receive professional and technical skills training, personal development coaching and access to Fortune 500 Company internships, some of which turn into full-time jobs.

Leading Baltimore area companies including Lockheed Martin, Amtek Company, Mary Kay, the Maryland Transit Administration, and i-Trek, a nonprofit devoted to increasing the number of under-served and under-represented students in STEM. They provided informational tables as representatives from Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and Capitol College— BCCC partners in the STEM effort— gave guidance and presentations.

"This was an excellent opportunity not only for high school students and the citizens of Baltimore City to explore options at BCCC, but to transform and change their careers," said Professor Marianna Gleger, coordinator of the BCCC STEM Scholars program.

BCCC is a growing provider of STEM training and transfer education. Students at the college can earn a two-year associate degree in Robotics Technology, Engineering Transfer or Biotechnology. In the fall of 2012, the National Science Foundation awarded BCCC a five-year, $599,995 grant to fund scholarships which pay up to $4,150 per academic year to students studying any of these growth-oriented fields.

The program's additional benefits for students include participation in conferences and field trips, opportunities to lead activities during BCCC's College wide Math Awareness Week, and internships through an on-campus job developer.