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How cak highschool students gain hands on knowledge in the STEM field?

I am currently a junior and I plan on becoming an engineer. I am very interested in becoming a biomedical engineer but, I also want to learn about other fields. I'm sesrching for ways to do so my senior year so I have some background knowledge before college. #engineer #biomedical-engineering

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Srinivas’s Answer

You can reach out to any career counsellor first to understand about the available fields today for under-graduate study as part of STEM programs.

I am not sure how much you can contribute as an Intern as a Junior. I would suggest you to meet any college students and try to be part of their college projects whenever you find time to get some hands-on experience. You can also form a small group with your friends where you can do some hobby projects in robotics, bio-medical instrumentation etc. Today, you find many websites online with examples of hobby electronics projects etc. which you can do it by yourself by buying the required items online. This gives you a good enough experience before college.

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Alyssa’s Answer

Hi Tyra!

That's wonderful that you are interested in engineering & STEM! If you are planning on looking at different types of engineering, I would suggest researching the different projects that each department is currently working on at local colleges and universities to see if any of them interest you. The websites listed below also include the faculty/staff emails for the different departments which could be a great resource if you want to learn more about their programs including the types of classes that each major would need to take. There are a lot of great STEM and engineering organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that are available during your collegiate career that you can get involved in now in high school before going to college in the fall, check out the resources and activities to see what sparks your interest!

There are also summer internships at companies like 3M that can be a great way to get your foot in the door to a future company in your career and to learn about how you like to work in a professional setting. It can help you figure out what kind of work you enjoy; research & development (R&D), quality assurance, supply chain, or other parts of the engineering discipline at a company. Your high school teachers may have connections to local universities and are a great first step in researching more about engineering!

Alyssa recommends the following next steps:

Visit https://cset.mnsu.edu/departments/
Visit https://cse.umn.edu/college/undergraduate-majors
Visit https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/careers-us/students/
Visit https://swe.org/k-12-outreach/youth-programs/

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Jay’s Answer

Hi Tyra,

If you haven't learned any programming yet, maybe spend some time there. There are tons of interactive language tutorials available for free online. This is something you will more than likely have to take for any engineering degree depending on the college. The programming language they teach may be different, but the concept and ideas are very similar. What better way to get exposed to programming than on your own pace and for free.

Jay recommends the following next steps:

https://www.learnpython.org/ - also available: Java, HTML, Go, C, C++, JavaScript, PHP, Shell, C#, Perl, Ruby, Scala, SQL

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David’s Answer

You can communicate with your school counselor or subject teacher to see if you can join or participate in club, after school program, weekend, program, after school club, organization and etc. with local college or university. If your school counselor or subject teacher cannot assist then you can contact or communicate with some local college or university as well as engineering related company to see if they have any open program for high school student to participate. Normally, they offer these during the summer or fall time when school and work is not too busy.

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Ngan’s Answer

You should reach out to some universities and colleges around you! Since summer semester usually has less students on campus, some professors can't find students to help with things like research. I've known professors to accept high school student volunteers in their research lab. This can help you get some valuable experience as well as interact with professors in that field so you can further learn about different fields of engineering.

Another tip: If you want to learn more about other engineering fields, look up job descriptions and postings of those engineering jobs and see if they interest you. I'll help narrow down the list and it will give you an idea of what kind of engineering you like! Start by searching "entry level ___ engineer" into a search bar.

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Jaypal’s Answer

Hi Tyra, STEM is really vast domain, acronym for "Science, Technology, Engineering, Math". If you are aiming to be an engineer, you can reach out to your college professors/career counsellor/your subject teachers. You can take a guidance from your seniors/friends/family members/cousin who are currently working in similar domain. If you are looking for hands on experience, you can apply for an Internship. It can be a short 1 month Internship or if possible can enrol for longer duration. Try to reach out to nearby companies, universities, research organisations via online or physically. Also I would suggest you to sign up for free online courses from MOOC platform, in your area of interest.

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Giovanni’s Answer

You can apply for some co-op positions this summer in order to gain some more hands on experience in your field. It is most likely as a engineer you will work with other engineering practices and see what they do as well. You can always go to engineering firms and call to see if they have any shadowing positions.