Students, Teachers and STEM professionals gather for 2017 Breakfast with the Superintendent

Students from high schools located all across Montgomery County came out to Bethesda for the Superintendent’s Breakfast on September 29.

Superintendent Dr. Jack R. Smith designed the breakfast to be a confab, or informal conversation. He asked WUSA9 news anchor Lesli Foster to return as the emcee and invited Dr Erin O’Shea, the first female president of The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), to speak about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education for all.

“We absolutely must continue to grow our STEM workforce,” said Dr. Smith, speaking to the audience of teachers, students and partners of MCPS Education Foundation. “Access is critically important.”

Members of that workforce were on hand to talk to students about potential career paths, including Suzi Wilczynski, CEO of Dig-It! Games and Kevin Beverly, CEO of Social & Scientific Systems.

“I hope through having an event like this,” said Beverly, “where [students] get to interact with professionals and scientists, they can see what’s possible.”

For Marjory, a student representing Springbrook High School, that might mean a career as a medical doctor or mental health professional, but she’s still deciding. Thanks to classes like her IB Psychology course and opportunities like the Superintendent’s Breakfast, she’s able to network with community and business leaders in those prospective fields as she makes plans for college.

Majory and the other participating students referred to cards with suggested questions they could ask their tablemates in order to learn more about careers in STEM and teachers and administrators took home glass-beaker centerpieces to use in their classrooms as a gift from the MCPS Foundation.

The students even had the chance to ask Dr. O'Shea where she thought the future of medicine is heading and what advice she had for those aspiring to careers in the sciences.

“Find what you love to do and it won’t feel like work,” Dr. O’Shea urged the students after relating her experiences as a woman achieving success in a traditionally male-dominated line of work. “The intellectual freedom of being able to choose what you question is one of the greatest advantages of being a scientist.”

The entire interview with Dr. O'Shea is available on the MCPS Youtube Channel.

Check out the video below to learn more about how the MCPS Education Foundation brings STEM to the classrooms in our schools.

Jack Smith designed the program to be a confab;  he invited Lesli Foster to return as the emcee and Erin O'Shea to speak about STEM education.