Recap: GIT 2017-2018 Mentor-Protege Program in Maryland – November and January Events

By Anika Lalmansingh, Ph.D.; Maryland Program Lead

The Rockville, Maryland location of GIT’s 2017-2018 Mentor-Protégé program launched its 6th program year in the fall with it’s kick-off event held in October that introduced the program to new participants and brought together for the first time high-school student proteges and professional women mentors. This year’s program continues to be hosted by Johns Hopkins University in Shady Grove (Rockville)**, Maryland, through the last session in March 2018.

November (Second) 2017-2018 Maryland Mentor-Protégé Session: A Passion for STEM
Protégés participating in Networking Bingo

The second session of the 2017-2018 Maryland Mentor-Protégé (M-P) program was held Tuesday, November 28, 2017 . To kick off the evening the protégés participated in a Bingo networking activity in which they moved around the room and asked various questions of their fellow protégés and mentors, in an effort to fill out a Bingo card.

The energy from the Bingo networking activity fed into the excitement of the discussion for passion and STEM, led by the featured speaker of the evening Camsie McAdams.

Are Passion and STEM compatible?

When you think of passion do you think of science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM)? Can you build a successful career by combining your life’s passion with a STEM field? Camsie McAdams, believes that the answer to both questions is a resounding “Yes!”

Camsie McAdams discussing the topic of passion.

Camsie is currently the Director of STEM Curriculum at Discovery Education (Silver Spring, MD), where she is developing a new K-8 STEM digital curriculum. She explained how STEM is much more than just the individual fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM is an approach to seeking a solution and can be tied into all aspects of our lives; and therefore, can be combined with our passions. For example, escaping slaves in the US used a constellation of stars they referred to as the drinking gourde to locate the North Star that would lead them north to freedom. In this respect, Camsie noted, the science of astronomy played an integral role in history, social justice, and civil rights.

 

Finding Your North Star

Camsie finished her presentation with an activity in which she asked the protégés and mentors to determine their North Star –a hope or dream that they were passionate about; which they wrote on a star shaped sticky note. Then, on star shaped sticky notes of a different color or size they wrote the challenges they will face while working toward their North Star. The final product was a constellation of stars leading to the North Star.

More stories about Passion

Protégés and mentors in the small mentoring groups.

Once in their small mentoring groups, the continued discussion of passion flowed easily among the protégés and mentors. Spurred on by Camsie’s presentation, mentors and protégés learned many things about themselves and each other.

So what is your passion? How can you use it to launch your career in STEM?

 

 

 

Check out these innovators with a Passion for STEM:

Prosthetic arm built with LEGO: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3159898/The-prosthetic-arm-built-LEGO-Designer-creates-artificial-limb-allows-kids-make-attachments.html#v-4352253254001

Printable makeup: https://vimeo.com/105411537

Dress made by coding: https://amysmartgirls.com/google-teams-with-fashion-guru-zac-posen-to-teach-girls-creative-coding-e6dc5d15fe1e

January (Third) 2017-2018 Maryland Mentor-Protégé Session: Embrace Fear and Learn to Fail

The third session of the 2017-2018 Maryland Mentor-Protégé program was held Tuesday, January 9, 2018 and was quite a ride for those of us on the organizing committee. The session topic was embracing your fear of failure and learning from the experience; and we were living examples of that that evening!

The Night’s Early Challenges

GIT interns demonstrating an effective hand shake

The evening started off with the realization that there was a scheduling mix-up and our guest speakers, the GIT Cyber Patriot Girls, would not be able to attend.  Next, our catering service delivered everything but the plates…it’s hard to eat salad on a napkin! Finally, our carefully updated plan to improve on how we efficiently move mentors and protégés into groups that are smaller and more intimate was completely laid to waste because of unforeseen circumstances that arose.

Phew…

By the end of the evening, however, we had gotten our plates (after a long phone call), assembled a new panel of mentors and two Cyber Patriot Girls (that we did not know were amongst our protégés and interns), and protégés and mentors enjoyed small group discussions (albeit a little rearranged) until we closed.

Panel Discussion

Mentors describing a time when they found success out of failure.

The panel discussion turned out to be wonderful and informative and we are very grateful to our mentors Rebecca Crisafulli, Beth Harvey, and Tiyasha Hall and our protégé Cyber Patriot participants, Hannah Boyd and Esha Mittal, who agreed to speak about their experiences with such short notice.

Esha and Hanna describing their experiences as part of the Cyber Patriot program.

Led by Robin Stevens Payes, the mentor panelists described situations in which what appeared to be failure led to positive opportunities that they would never have dreamed could be possible. The overarching theme being that failure is an opportunity to learn and bounce back. In addition, the Cyber Patriot girls discussed their experiences as part of the team at Wootton High School in Rockville, MD. They were both surprised to find out that computer and programing experience was not a prerequisite for the program.  Instead, they found that at the heart of cyber security is the ability to problem solve; a skill that they know will translate to any career path they choose.

Lessons Learned

The evening started out with major challenges, but we worked through them as a team. The lessons that we learned during this session will carry over into our future sessions and we are excited to see everyone back at the next session on February 20th, when the topic will be Leadership.

 

GIT Announcements:

**Girls in Technology has leased or rented facilities from the Johns Hopkins University. However, Girls in Technology and any programs operated by Girls in Technology are not related to or affiliated with the Johns Hopkins University in any way. Girls in Technology is an entirely separate legal entity with no connection to the Johns Hopkins University aside from the temporary use of facilities for the specified program

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