Notes from June 21st Meeting

Attending:  Mr. Meyers, Elizabeth Mettler, Denton Ryan and Damian Arzakel

The meeting covered the following topics:

  • Recruitment & Retention of SciMaTech students. Mr. Meyers brought up the issue of while we are trying to increase recruitment, we need to also focus on the retention of students.
    • His concern stemmed from the fact that there is a limit to how many students can take the Intro to Engineering course which is approximately 105 (35 students over 3 classes).
    • However, the course is currently listed as an elective which means students who are not seriously interested in the Engineering pathway sign up.  This takes away spots that more invested students could use.
    • Suggestions to improve include removing the elective designation, increasing outreach to incoming students to explain the pathway, and adding in a prompt to the course selection form which asks for their reasons for wanting to take the course.
    • Short term solutions included reaching out to the counselors to work with ways for them to steer students away from taking the course as a filler and sending out a welcome email to all incoming SciMaTech students that addresses the requirements of all the pathways.
  • Connections – increasing our connections to the outside community for mentorship, internships, guest speakers, judges and more.
    • Internships – while we have a database of some internship opportunities for this year, we are doing to spend some time this summer looking a more comprehensive list of internships.  Students will update a separate table of possible internships for review by the teachers.
    • Partnerships – work on our existing partnerships and identify new ones.  These include UDC, NASA, the Smithsonian. Identify possible other partnerships by identifying organizations with outreach programs.  Possibilities that were brought up include NASA, SpaceX and the area of brain science.
    • Mentorships – document the existing mentorships first and then begin using connections to identify more.  We will create a separate table to keep track of past mentors for use by future students.
    • Summary:  these three areas tie closely together. Having a cohesive and up to date website that explains the mission of SciMaTech will allow us to reach out to organizations better.
  • Capturing Information From Seniors – before they completely escape – we want to gather the following information.  Forms will be created today with an email sent the morning of Thursday June 23.  This will also be included in the upcoming weekly email.
    • Capstone Project Synopsis (if relevant)
    • Update to mentor database (if relevant)
    • Update to alumni database – post-secondary destination and major or field of interest
  • Calendar – setting up events in the calendar for next year to include:
    • Project exhibit – twice a year.  Early December and spring.  Get this set and we can invite outside organizations and up and coming freshman.
    • Social events – work with students to get events on the calendar.  Welcome back event?  At least one every two months?  Activities for each pathway or across the academy?

Action Items:

  • Recruitment & Retention
    • Reach out to counselors to start dialogue about freshman taking Intro classes.  Ms. Mettler & Mr. Meyers.
    • Reach out to Ms. Adewoye about creating a welcome email to incoming SciMaTech students.
    • Mr. Meyers is following up with Ms. Adewoye to see if mentorships & internships can be combined.  If a student has a mentor for their capstone project, can they then work the required hours for that mentor to count as an internship.
  • Connections
    • Create database tables and supporting forms on website.  Ms. Mettler & Fiona FitzSimons
    • Denton/Damian – base form is created so you and other students can start putting in internships – Add a Possible Internship under the Planning menu.
    • Work with teachers/Ms. Adewoye to get the basic internship/mentoring information finalized on website so we can reach out to connections.
    • Reach out via social media and our connections to gather more connections.
  • Seniors:
  • Calendar – send email to teachers/Ms. Adewoye to start this process.  Ms. Mettler

Notes from Quick Meeting in May 2022

  • Timeline of Internships:  have a very clear schedule for the entire school year up on the SciMaTech website that lists possible internships and their application due dates.
  • Develop a contact list of experts that can be used for various classes and projects.
  • Work on developing our alumni database and exploring ways to use that for mentoring.
  • Create the framework for having a “show and tell” or exhibits at Jackson-Reed for various clubs/groups within the academy.  A way for the students to show off what they have been working on.  Try and set this up for every semester or every month?
  • Work on finding ways to fund our clubs.
  • Work on creating and fostering partnerships with organizations in DC.
  • More SciMaTech-wide events: picnics :), the show-and-tell events, capture-the-flag? Etc
  • T-shirts!