By 2025, 70 percent of the “baby boomer” generation will be retiring leaving hundreds of jobs open. We are committed to inspire the next generation of skilled individuals through sponsoring and creating programs aligned to develop students’ interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) so they may one day pursue a career in a technical field. This year, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire, the “BAE Systems Summer STEM Scholar Program” provided scholarships for 10 students to attend the university’s Tech Leaders camp.
A program to enlighten young minds
Since its inception in 2006, UNH Tech Leaders has allowed middle school and high school students to advance their interests in STEM. The campers participate in a two-week-long summer program where they develop skills in research, interviewing, public speaking, and various writing tasks. The camp has projects in robotics, bioengineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and computer science.
In addition to providing scholarships for students, our employees dedicated their time to developing the curriculum for one of the Tech Leaders projects. In total, 14 students participated in a project where they learned about engineering through designing, building and programming autonomous control cars. The project was designed and run by seven BAE Systems engineers, who also served as mentors for the students and provided insight on what it is like to have a career at BAE Systems.
“I think this program gave the students a sense of computer science and software engineering that they couldn't have gotten in many other places,” said Johnathan Trossbach, a software engineer at BAE Systems who supported the program. “Most kids are not getting a proper sense of what STEM is and what it can be for them and their careers.”
During the session, students traveled to Nashua, N.H. to tour the newly renovated Electronic Warfare Integrated Manufacturing Center at BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems headquarters. Students were able to see circuit cards assembled and observed math and science practices used to solve real-world problems.
Molly Mcguire, a participant in the BAE Systems Engineering Leadership Development program, said she supported this program because she knows the importance of STEM programs and its impact on students.
“We can provide a memorable learning experience to kids who may not have had it otherwise if we had not put the effort in to developing a curriculum, providing hardware, and supporting their technical growth,” McGuire said.
Dedication to education
BAE Systems’ support of this program is part of a larger effort to support organizations and schools encouraging students’ interest in technical careers. Through sponsorships, grants and scholarships we contribute 40 percent of our philanthropic budget to education initiatives.
“It is vital that we encourage students, of all backgrounds, to participate in STEM related activities. We want to give future generations the opportunity to explore their interests so they can fill key roles in our workforce,” says Diana Martin, Vice President of Communications at BAE Systems, Electronic Systems.
The hope is that these programs will leave a lasting impression on students – encouraging them to consider BAE Systems for future careers.
“This year, I had a great opportunity to get to know real engineers and to participate in awesome projects,” said Angela Fuentes, a junior at Nashua High School South in New Hampshire. “I wouldn't have achieved it without the scholarship that [BAE Systems] gave me.”
BAE Systems has several other programs that encourage students’ interest in STEM. From giving students hands-on engineering experience during our Fostering Opportunities and Careers Utilizing STEM program, to encouraging more female participation in technical careers through our Women In Technology program, BAE Systems is working diligently to ensure we have future workforce to fill critical jobs in the defense, aerospace, and security solutions arena in the coming years.