by Rick Winterson
General Electric has been making a multi-pronged effort to become part of the Boston community, with special emphasis on South Boston, where its new headquarters facility will be sited. Following the successful launch of “STEM Week” at the Perry School on Monday, October 3 (see Online’s October 6 issue, page four), GE and the City of Boston have since launched the “Brilliant Career Labs”. The date was Thursday afternoon, October 6, at 3:30; the location was Excel High School – more often still called “the High School” by local residents.
The GE Brilliant Career Lab is one of the key commitments the GE Foundation has made to the students and teachers in the Boston Public School (BPS) system. It will be a major step towards building a so-called STEM career. “STEM” is actually an acronym that stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics”. The two most important words are in the middle – “Technology, Engineering”. Sciences like biology, chemistry, and physics, along with several levels of mathematics, are already taught in Boston’s high schools. STEM newly introduces technology and engineering to the high school curriculum, which allows students to make more informed college and career selections in a highly technical world such as ours.
Mayor Marty Walsh spoke of how delighted he has been with GE’s coming to Boston, and thanked them for their commitment to our community. School Committee Chair Michael O’Neill and BPS Superintendent Tommy Chang added their own expression of gratitude. Excel High School Headmaster Stephanie Sibley spoke of putting the Brilliant Career Lab right to work exploring college and career possibilities. Ann Klee, who is President of the GE Foundation and Vice President of Boston Development and Operations, summed the event up perfectly when she said, “We are thrilled to be here.”
The Brilliant Career Lab is part of a commitment that GE made to Boston, which involves close collaboration with the BPS. It allows students to learn workplace skills, find new interests, explore potential careers, look at the available job markets, and experience technology all in one space. Five careers that can be explored with this Brilliant Career Lab include Software/Game Development, Machining with Numerical Control, Biomedical Engineering, Wearable Technology Design, and Airplane Mechanics – all challenging, fast-growing, well paid career fields. An important part of this entire endeavor are steps like Interest Assessment and Essential Skills, which enable each student to rank herself/himself correctly and are features of the GE Brilliant Career Lab.