Since 2014, Questar III’s Summer STEM Research Institute has placed local secondary school STEM teachers in local businesses, colleges/universities and research facilities to get hands-on experience in areas related to the courses they teach – providing their students a more authentic education and better preparing them for the world they will encounter after graduation.
Micaela Ethier teaches high school geometry at Shenendehowa CSD. She is spending her summer working at National Grid learning about the organization, how it relates to her curriculum, and possible career paths for her students.
Briefly describe your research to someone without a STEM background.
I am working at National Grid this summer. I will be spending a day with each department within the organization to see what they do, how it relates to my curriculum, what skills are needed to work in that department, and the possible pathways within that department for workers.
What made you want to apply for the Summer STEM program?
When I read about the Summer STEM program, I was intrigued at the possibility of being able to actually work at a local STEM business. Having gone into teaching, I had never had the opportunity to actually work in the field. I was excited in the possibility in seeing the actual skills and knowledge that are used on an everyday basis in the field so that I can bring that back to my students and better prepare them for jobs they may enter.
How do you see this program impacting your instruction and benefiting your students?
After completing this program, I feel that I will be able to better prepare my students for a career in a STEM business field. I will know what soft skills are necessary for students to have, such as perseverance, facilitation, reflection, patience, etc. I will be able to integrate those skills throughout the year. I will also be able to integrate real world situations that require the use of our curriculum. This will help to make the topics more relatable and engaging for my students.
What are you most looking forward to through the program, or what has been the most beneficial experience for you so far?
I am looking forward to seeing how math is applied at National Grid, whether it be obvious to the worker or working behind the scenes. It will also be interested in seeing what skills are needed to flourish in the field and what possible career paths my students could work for. I also think it will be beneficial for me to get a better understanding of the electric grid and gas grid so that I can share that knowledge with my students.