It was a marvel of planning and organization – how to get 79 seventh graders from the Rindge Avenue Upper School to each of three nearby corporate offices that were hosting on-site events for the first NetPals face-to-face meeting! Thanks to lead teacher Jay Mahoney and other teacher chaperones, the walk from the school to the three venues was a success, and so was the meet-up at Bertucci’s afterward, where all enjoyed a pizza and salad lunch.
CSV’s NetPals program is a mainstay for middle school students at the Rindge Avenue school. Now in its 13th year, students are matched with employees from three companies and spend the semester communicating via e-mail around science and other core subject themes. There are two face-to-face events as well, the onsite visit and an in-school opportunity for students to showcase their science projects in the spring. Another focus of the program is career awareness, enabling students to see the many options available to them in the world of work.
Students are distributed among the three corporate partners: Cambridge Systematics, W.R. Grace & Co., and new partner Vecna Technologies. During the on-site visits, student groups toured the Cambridge Systematics offices, heard a special presentation by their NetPals at Grace, or explored the robotics facilities at Vecna. All 160+ students and NetPals were busily engaged in conversation by the time all had gathered for lunch down the street. In fact, the group took over the entire restaurant!
CSV cares deeply about introducing young people to the many possibilities available to them in the growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We thank our all of our corporate NetPals partners for participating in this exciting program and giving students such a rich and rewarding experience.