Cambridge School Volunteers (CSV) welcomes new partners Google and Philips Research to its NetPals program this semester.
The NetPals program, which enables students to learn about career paths in science, technology, engineering, or math from professionals who are employees of CSV partners, launched on December 6, 2017 at Putnam Avenue Upper School (PAUS). The program was redesigned six years ago in collaboration with the Cambridge Public Schools and is embedded in the science curriculum.
Google joins existing NetPals mentors from three other partners—Audible, MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering, and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation. These four partners are collectively providing mentors for every seventh-grader at the school. CSV Program Coordinator Kim Green Goldstein and Dava Wool, seventh-grade science teacher, organized the December 6th assembly to introduce the mission and work of the four partners who represent Cambridge’s business, government, and academic world.
Parents of children in the three Cambridge Public Schools that participate in the NetPals program may soon hear their seventh-graders mention “my NetPal,” an adult, volunteer mentor from a CSV partner. Volunteers work in STEM fields and can help students make a connection between math and science learning in school to possible future career paths. Each student will exchange supervised emails and have face-to-face visits with his or her own NetPal between now and May.
At Rindge Avenue Upper School (known as RAUC), NetPals mentors are volunteers from Cambridge Systematics, GCP Applied Technologies, Oracle, and Vecna Technologies. On Tuesday, December 12, the whole seventh grade at the school went on a field trip to the companies for their first meeting with their NetPals.
Students asked thoughtful questions at the RAUC NetPals launch earlier in the month, such as “Will the robots [designed by Vecna Technologies] make people lazy?” Nathan Towne-Smith of Vecna explained that the company’s robot he was displaying could do jobs that are not safe for humans, including clearing mines.
Philips Research will join CSV’s group of partners, including IBM, at Cambridge Street Upper School, where the NetPals program will launch during the first week of January 2018.