East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day at Wareham’s Aquatic Park Center Inspires Next Generation of Scientists and Innovators

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Over 250 students from high schools in Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Richmond might find careers as scientists, researchers, technicians, photographers, architects, sound engineers, even artists following yesterday’s East Bay STEM Career Awareness Day at Wareham Development’s Aquatic Park Center, located at 717 Potter Street in Berkeley.

Students from high schools throughout the Eastshore visited 15 work sites in West Berkeley’s thriving “Innovation Corridor” touring a variety of STEM facilities, talking with a diverse crowd of STEM professionals about their career paths and what they do, and attending an informational fair hosted by STEM organizations.

California has one million entry-level STEM jobs available in the next five years, employers are looking to hire a diverse local workforce, and STEM professionals get to do exciting work in fields including medical research, climate change, and computer science. So why aren’t more women and students of color choosing STEM for study and career paths?

Rich Robbins, founder and president of Wareham Development inspires students to ask questions, see if they can envision themselves in STEM jobs and to take advantage of all the people here to help them. “We’re all here because of and for you,” he said.

For many students in low-income communities, it’s a simple lack of awareness of what STEM jobs look like. East Bay business and civic leaders want to change that.

Participating companies included leading STEM organizations spanning fields from biopharmaceuticals to biofuels, sound engineering, cosmetics and architecture: 2 Plus 2 Partners, Aduro Biotech, AVID, Bayer, Berkeley Mills, Biomedical Manufacturing Network, Bolt Threads, California Coastal Commission, California Department of Toxic Substances, Caltrans, Caribou Biosciences, Community Energy Services Co., Dynavax, EESA, Fantasy Studios, JBEI, Kala Art Studio, Kava Massih Architects, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Meyer Sound, Osteolyse Inc., Perfect Foods, Rising Sun Energy, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, UCSF-SEP, WLC Architects.

Sponsors included Bayer, Wareham Development, Aduro Biotech, Alameda County Workforce Development Board, Caribou Biosciences, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, EBMUD, Meyer Sound, Port of Oakland, Stanford Healthcare, and many more. Coordinated by the Institute for STEM Education, Cal State East Bay.

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