The STEM community at Cape Cod Community College is building. Really building!
If you were at the STEM Journey event this spring, you probably saw college students from the 4CSTEM Club busy building with Legos and coding platforms. For the local elementary students they were working with, the results—lions that roared and trucks that drove—were definitely exciting.
We think that kind of engagement is the essence of the community college experience. It was meaningful for both the college students and the grade-schoolers from nearby. Of course we also really liked their focus on engineering.
It’s great to see that engineering is a growing program at the college. This year, Cape Cod Community College was named a STEM Starter Academy. That is, a school geared to encourage more students to pursue STEM majors. Besides offering many excellent STEM courses, the College offers outreach opportunities, scholarships, and guidance aimed at attracting and retaining students interested in these fields.
The 4CSTEM Club and the mentoring they brought to the STEM Journey is part of that picture.
Colleen Coughlin, who runs the Club says chances to be mentors and to get good mentoring are both important to College students on the path to STEM-related careers.
“The Club,” she says, “is also a way for students to just come together and think and talk about what STEM means for them.”
Besides overseeing the 4CSTEM Club, Colleen is the College’s STEM Academic Advisor. She works to guide students interested in science, technology, engineering and math into the right courses and careers. Colleen has done graduate work in the geosciences and has been a researcher in the field—the bonus for her students is that she understands first hand what it is like to work as a scientist and an engineer.
“One of the best things about helping students seek out STEM degree paths and careers opportunities,” Colleen says, “is that it also means supporting students as they find themselves in the process.”
If you’re a 4C student and want to get involved in the 4CSTEM Club or find out more about opportunities related to the College’s designation as STEM Starter Academy, email Colleen.