The NetPals program of Cambridge School Volunteers provides seventh-graders with early opportunities to explore careers in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) through a relationship with a working professional. Each student has three face-to-face meetings with his or her mentor, who has been recruited and trained by CSV. Additionally, Cambridge School Volunteers staff and Cambridge Public Schools teachers supervise regular email correspondence between mentor and student through the year, building students’ skills in science writing and STEM content within the context of their regular science class.
During FY15, CSV invested considerable effort in strengthening our relatively young programs at the upper schools, NetPals and Learning Centers. CSV expanded our NetPals program for seventh-graders, adding 90 mentor pairs, five new corporate partners, and a new school, Putnam Avenue Upper School (PAUS).
With the help of five new partners — Oracle, Pegasystems, Skanska, the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, and Volpe National Transportation Systems Center—CSV matched every seventh-grader at three Cambridge upper schools with a NetPal mentor who works in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math, known as STEM fields. Putnam Avenue Upper School joined Rindge Avenue Upper School and Cambridge Street Upper School in the program.