BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / September 15, 2021 / Following a successful pilot run of the MassRobotics Jumpstart Fellowship Program, applications for the second cohort are now open through November 1. The Jumpstart program provides opportunities for diverse Massachusetts high school girls to learn about careers in robotics, expose them to technical skills and develop their professional networks through direct engagement with industry professionals.
All female high school juniors and seniors, especially those who are Black and Latinx, with a passion for robotics and technology are encouraged to apply. You can find the application link here, and learn more by attending an upcoming virtual student information session.
This cohort will run from January 8 through May 14, 2022, and will meet on Saturdays, alternating between in-person meetings at the MassRobotics office and virtual sessions. It will also include a full week of sessions and field trips to robotics companies during the February school vacation week.
The Jumpstart curriculum exposes young women to the many technical skills needed within the robotics industry, from programming to design and simulation, to hands-on building, prototyping and testing. The curriculum includes expertise from MassRobotics' partners and the Massachusetts robotics ecosystem including SolidWorks, MathWorks, Lightspeed Manufacturing and GreenSight. The first Jumpstart cohort was made possible through funding and support provided by The Boston Foundation, Dassault Systèmes' La Fondation and Mass Tech Collaborative.
"We at Dassault Systèmes' La Fondation are delighted to support the MassRobotics Jumpstart Program," said Deborah Dean, president, Dassault Systèmes' La Fondation. "We recognize the importance of the mission to empower minority women with technical skills and expertise and look forward to welcoming them to the tech industry in their careers."
The STEM workforce in Massachusetts currently suffers from a lack of diversity. In the Massachusetts technology sector, which includes STEM and the robotics industry, only five percent of workers are Black, seven percent are Latinx, and one third are women, according to the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.
"We know that girls, especially Black and Latinx girls, are not represented well in the robotics tech sector - and we believe we can change this," said Carolyn Kirk, executive director, MassTech Collaborative. "By setting women of color up for success in the tech field, they will more likely pursue these disciplines for their professional careers. We are happy to support MassRobotics in developing a diverse talent pipeline and future leaders in the tech sector."
A key part of the program is making sure these young women feel confident and empowered to enter the STEM field. Students will learn directly from mentors about the different types of robotics jobs and how to leverage their studies into a career in robotics through lab and company visits. Students will be given the opportunity to receive paid internships at robotics and technology companies participating in the program.
Local robotics businesses that would like to employ Jumpstart interns or provide expertise during Saturday lessons, please email Khalif Mitchell, MassRobotics STEM program manager, for more information.
MassRobotics is the result of the collective work of a global group of engineers, rocket scientists and entrepreneurs with a shared vision to create a strong, vibrant robotics and IoT ecosystem. MassRobotics' mission is to help create and scale the next generation of successful robotics and connected devices companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics/automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solutions. See massrobotics.org for details.