ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie is pleased to share that seniors and juniors at Greater Lawrence Tech are taking part in a mentoring program in partnership with Lincoln Labs.
Approximately 20 mentors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory are participating in the program, meeting one on one virtually with each student weekly. Students were matched with mentors this January.
“We are so thankful to have this partnership with Lincoln Labs, and for the time these mentors are giving to our students so that they can learn directly from top tier experts in these fields,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students, who are thrilled to be learning from local professionals in industries they’re passionate about.”
Approximately 35 seniors in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) are receiving technical expertise, guidance and support from their mentors as they pursue their senior capstone projects. A group of 22juniors in STEAMare also meeting with mentors as they work on a research project about health inequities. These mentors are also providing exposure to different career pathways within STEAM fields through the new Grade 11 Career Series Talks.
The mentoring program seeks to support students in strengthening both their technical skills and employability skills.
Mentors participating in the program are research scientists and engineers with experience in subject areas including: engineering, cybersecurity, integrated circuits, quantum mechanics and radar systems.
Teachers are working with the mentors to guide seniors through their capstone projects, and students selected the subject of their projects this December. The projects include work in nanotechnology to help with environmental conservation and protection, as well as biomedical engineering, where students will work to build an artificial lung.
The seniors will design, build prototypes, experiment, test, document, research, and redesign as needed for their individual projects. Their work began this January and will continue into April. Students will present their final projects to an audience of STEAM industry partners and community members as well as families and friends. This public exhibition of learning will be held in May.
“When it comes to learning about careers, I think it will be a lot more helpful to talk to someone in the field than just learning in school,” Marie Palmer, a senior of Methuen, said. “They can teach you so much more. You can get real life advice. I’m excited about meeting someone from industry and being able to hear about what they do.”
“I feel like this is going to be a big help. We are going to get insight and guidance from an outside source who works in the field and can give us some real-world experience,” Nate Quirindongo, a senior of Lawrence, said. “We can work with them weekly, which is a really cool thing. I also think it’s really cool that we have our own mentor so they can just focus on that. This is something that we should continue doing because I think other STEAM students will benefit from this. I’m excited to get to know them, bond, and have them help me with my idea.”
“The mentorship program with Lincoln Labs is really an extension of what we do in STEAM, which is why I’m so excited about it!,” Isabel Chae, a senior of Andover, said. “I have a tentative plan as to what I want to do, and the fact that teachers have put in the time and energy to find the perfect mentor for my project is really amazing. Exploring engineering though a new lens will help me grow academically and simultaneously give me more hands-on experiences – I’m thrilled to see where this takes me!”