In the News
STEM Speaker Series Re imagined to Offer Students Virtual ExperiencesMon, 26 April, 2021 at 10:28 am
The STEM Center at Cañada College was created to cultivate the study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to support students pursuing a career in this competitive field. The STEM Center offers extensive programs, services, and academic support for all students taking STEM-related courses. The STEM Speaker Series, hosted by STEM Programs Relationship Coordinator, Rance Bobo, has been a staple event at Cañada and has recently undergone a transition from in-person to virtual.
Although managing online formatting during the pandemic has been a learning experience for all Cañada students and staff members, surprisingly many STEM Speaker attendees feel the event has become more intimate and interesting. Rance says, “I decided to make this event more interpersonal through a late-night tv show interview format instead of the traditional presentation format. Because students are sitting/watching lectures all day, I wanted to ensure the STEM Speaker Series felt unique and more interactive.”
The student’s response to this new format has been nothing short of positive! A stellar feature of this new format that students enjoy has been the webinar question and answer section where STEM Speaker Series host Rance asks the viewers to send in questions to be answered live. The webinar format allows the students to participate while simultaneously assuring the audience does not interrupt or ask inappropriate questions that have not been screened. Cañada College student Francisco Espinoza says, “The new STEM Speaker Series format has made me feel more comfortable interacting with such renowned speakers. The tv show interview format has made me feel more engaged with the speaker and excited to virtually ask questions at the end of their presentation.”
Rance describes successful STEM Speaker moments as the way in which the students word their questions and the specificity of them. Rance shares, “To me, this is an indication that the students are paying attention, have been inspired, or have an interest in the topic.” Other interesting STEM Speaker moments that stuck with Rance include a motivated presenter who worked as a tow truck driver while attending school, a selfless presenter who works directly tracking COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County, and a passionate presenter who spoke profoundly of Cañada, the STEM Center, and getting more involved on campus.
If students are undecided on a STEM career choice they should attend the STEM Speaker Series events and listen to former Cañada alumni who are now professionals. The presenter’s insight and real-world experiences can and will bring much-needed enlightenment to all Cañadians! To view the upcoming Spring speaker events, register, and find more information go to www.bit.ly/stemcanvas.