Mountain View Voice

News - November 29, 2013

Career day, Silicon Valley style

MVHS students learn about jobs in science, tech, engineering, math

by Nick Veronin

Just two days before the Thanksgiving break, Mountain View High School students took some time out of their normal schedules to learn about the multitude of career opportunities available in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Tuesday, Nov. 26 marked the school's second ever STEM Day, replete with speakers from STEM-based industries, hands-on activities and informational booths.

"I'm excited about giving the opportunity to students to see what the world of science is all about — at least in the professional world — so they can see where their interests can take them," said Dave Grissom, principal of Mountain View High School.

With its second STEM Day, Mountain View High School is taking a page out of Los Altos High School's play book. LAHS has had an entire STEM Week for several years running.

Scheduled speakers at the MVHS event included Kurt Long, aerodynamic research engineer and lab manager of aerospace computing at NASA Ames; Frank Cascarano, a physics instructor at Foothill College; Dr. Christopher Gardner, an associate professor of medicine at Stanford; Ryan McCarthy, a science and technology policy adviser with the California Air Resources Board; Dr. Jill Helms, a Stanford University professor; and Alejandro Garcia, a professor at San Jose State University.

All of the speakers donated their time, according to Grissom.

Scheduled topics of discussion included: what it takes to be an intern at a large engineering firm, the pleasures of understanding physics and the science of nutrition.

"Exposure to scientific careers opens up students' eyes to the greater world and to fields that they hadn't even thought of before," Grissom said.

The principal said he hoped students would be inspired by the presentations and informational booths and might even find a career path.

"In our society, that's where the jobs are going to be," he said. "This valley in particular is at the cutting edge of all that. We have so many resources that are so close to us. It's really nice to be able to bring that directly onto campus for our kids."

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