Sparking Interest in STEM Careers!
Earlier this year over 700 junior and senior high school students visited 50+ Northwell Health sites and service lines to learn about STEM careers as part of our 3rd Annual Spark! Challenge created by the Workforce Readiness team. During their visit students were exposed to a diverse set of clinical and non-clinical career opportunities available within the health care industry by hands-on learning “Career Days”. Students were then asked to collaborate with their team to create a career advertisement and a two minute career presentation to showcase at our Awards Ceremony.
“I don’t know how we did it, but we coordinated 8+ teams of students from Bellmore-Merrick JFK to cook a full Thanksgiving Day feast under one hour,” shares North Shore University Hospital’s head chef, Mike Kiley. “Staff from Food & Nutrition coached the students, while pushing their competitive buttons with a holiday cook-off. Not only did the teens have fun, they learned nutritional tips and how to better work as a team.”
Last week students, teachers and Northwell Health employees and executives filled the Cradle of Aviation for the Award Ceremony and over 45 schools presented on their chosen careers from their visit. The day was filled with interactive workshops and activities from various departments that included, 3D bioprinting, a CEMS simulator, Culture of Care workshop, Bioelectronic Medicine, telemedicine, a robotic surgery simulator and more.
As an organization we are always focused on educating our communities at all ages and the Workforce Readiness team does this by innovating the way we interact with next generation professionals about vast health care careers. “There’s no industry like health care. Besides pursuing a career as a doctor or a nurse, you can also be an engineer, a chef, an accountant, a computer tech, a transporter – well the list goes on,” said President and CEO, Michael Dowling.
Everyone’s a Winner
During the awards ceremony, students and Northwell Health employees received monetary awards and myReward points respectively for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on their presentation and careers poster. In true form, our President and CEO Michael Dowling tripled the award bucket just moments before the winners were announced.
In total, over $12,000 in prize money went to students from Tottenville High School, Sacred Heart Academy, Valley Central High School and Glen Cove High School for their clarity, enthusiasm, and content in the Presentation Award category. We also awarded over $14,000 in prize money to students from Amityville High School, Baldwin High School, Bellmore-Merrick JFK High School, and Valley Stream Central High School for their creativity in the Poster Award category.
“We have doubled our participation from both students and Northwell Health sites since last year,” says Lauren Pearson, Manager, Workforce Readiness. “What a truly amazing and inspiring day. I am so grateful to work here, doing a job I love, surrounded by amazing people and leadership.”
Promoting STEM Careers
With STEM careers on the rise, educating students early on is a high priority at Northwell Health. One of the many goals throughout the Spark! Challenge is to ignite student’s interest in the STEM careers we have throughout our health system. With each unique site/service line visit, these students received an in-depth look as to the many clinical and non-clinical career paths we have available. Our employees know these students will be our next leaders and want to show them the endless opportunities a career in health care can provide for them, and support them in their journey.
In the words of Michael Dowling, “Never believe you can’t do something. When you get up each day, try, and then perfect that process and move forward again. Don’t be stagnant. Always keep moving. There is no limit to your success.”
Learn more about our student initiatives.