MassRobotics hosted a celebration for the Jumpstart Fellowship Program’s third cohort of high school girls. The goal of the program is to encourage and empower diverse high school girls to pursue careers in robotics and promote the diversity of the robotics workforce by giving them a solid foundation of technical skills as well as mentors and professional network to give them the confidence and support they need to pursue a career in the tech field. The program includes a paid summer internship at a robotics company where the students can use their learned skills in real-world applications and meaningful work.
This year’s cohort included students from Quincy High School, Revere High School and Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.
Students began meeting regularly at MassRobotics on Saturdays in January 2023. During these sessions technical skills taught included soldering, machining, 3D printing and use of hand-tools in the prototype shop, as well as design skills with SolidWorks and analysis with MathWorks. MANY industry collaborators and partners volunteered on Saturdays and contributed by bringing enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to the classroom and lab each Saturday! This program is a true community and industry collaboration.
MANY industry collaborators and partners volunteered on Saturdays and contributed by bringing enthusiasm, knowledge and experience to the classroom and lab each Saturday! This program is a true community and industry collaboration.
Several ecosystem collaborators hosted students for site visits including UMass Lowell NERVE Center (with a gripper workshop), Lightspeed Manufacturing, Boston Dynamics, Odeh Engineering, GreenSight, Duckietown and MaglevAero.
This year we introduced weekly “Fireside Chats” which were student lead. This was truly a highlight and inspiration, with women of all ages, backgrounds, degrees and positions, sharing their journeys and challenges through their education and employment experiences. They had the group both laughing and in tears as they spoke about personal struggles – while one main theme emerged…yes, it’s difficult, but you’re not alone! The mentors provided guidance, strategies and survival tips for challenges they have faced. The mentors also helped build a network and the students have a group they can call on when they need advice or encouragement.
THANK YOU to all the wonderful impactful mentors who shared time with us this year!
This celebration marked the completion of the curriculum portion of the program and students were awarded medals of completion and stipends for completing the session. It was a treat to have several former Jumpstarters in attendance from Cohort 1 & 2!
The students will begin their internships next month and we’ll hear more about their work in a post at the end of the summer.
What does our Cohort 3 have to say about the Program?
- “I’m grateful of having this opportunity to meet so many intelligent women in the field of STEM and learn about their journies.”
- “Jumpstart taught me a lot about myself and different career paths in STEM.”
- “Being a part of MassRobotics has allowed me to meet others with similar interests, while preparing me for my future.”
- “I enjoyed learning a new thing every week.”
- “I’m so grateful for the Jumpstart opportunity that has been given to us. Meeting with these amazing women in tech definitely inspired me so much!”
- “The fireside chats were amazing, they really helped me personally.”
Many thanks to our program supporters and collaborators:
- Dassault Systèmes’ La Fondation for 3 grants and financial support needed for the execution of the program.
- Mass Tech Collaborative for a grant supporting student stipends for completing the technical coursework and supporting companies with financial internship match.
- Toyota Research Institute for providing funds to purchase computers and consumables needed to run the program
- GreenSight, Lightspeed, SolidWorks and MathWorks for program curriculum and execution support
- The numerous mentors!!
- Industry for opening your doors for tours and talks: UMass Lowell NERVE Center, Boston Dyanmics, Lightspeed Manufacturing
- GreenSight Maglev Aero, Odeh Engineering and Duckietown for hosting student fellows and providing them meaningful work.
We will be opening applications for the Jumpstart Girls Cohort 4 in September. Applications will be due mid-October. Stay tuned! We will be announcing information session dates and providing application link on our website.