RoseSTEM Program Preparing Historically Underrepresented Students for STEM Careers

Thursday, February 15, 2024
Rose-STEM panel at Rose-Hulman

Students in grades 9-12 from across Indiana came to campus recently to learn about STEM careers. They sought advice from engineers, corporate recruiters, and Rose-Hulman students and visited the college’s Winter Career Fair.

Rose-Hulman is providing opportunities for historically underrepresented high school students to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through a program that’s building partnerships with community-based organizations and high schools throughout Indiana.

The RoseSTEM college preparatory program provides year-round educational resources and training, access to current Rose-Hulman students, and opportunities to hear from special guest speakers.

Recently, 65 students in grades 9-12 from the GEO Academies in Gary and Indianapolis, along with others from Central Indiana and Terre Haute high schools, came to Rose-Hulman to learn about a variety of STEM careers and the strong demand for college graduates with STEM skills. Engineers, corporate recruiters, and Rose-Hulman students addressed the many roles STEM professionals have in creating products that make a difference in people’s lives. The visiting students also got to visit Rose-Hulman’s Winter Career Fair, which had companies throughout the country interviewing the college’s students for full time, internship, and co-op job opportunities.

More students from RoseSTEM partnership organizations will be visiting Rose-Hulman throughout the rest of this school year.

“It’s important to open high school students’ eyes to all of the exciting opportunities that STEM can provide, but they must commit themselves academically to prepare for such careers,” said Tom Bear, Rose-Hulman’s vice president for enrollment management.

Several of the RoseSTEM participating students may become first-generation college students and don’t know where to get answers about the college application and recruitment processes, financial aid and scholarship matters, and those internships and co-ops that can provide valuable real-world work experiences.

“The more that we can expose students to different colleges, like Rose-Hulman, the more familiar they will become to the opportunities that are available to them,” said Roy Hamilton, a guidance counselor with Gary’s 21st Century Charter School, a member of the statewide GEO Academies. “We’re encouraging the students to ask questions, seek advice, and see what’s out there in college. This is the time for students to explore their horizons.” 

Further opportunities for high school freshmen through seniors may come by attending Rose-Hulman’s summer STEM camps. Rose Power is a program for girls currently in ninth grade that allows them to explore STEM as a career, create interesting projects, and expose them to women role models. Project Select offers week-long immersive, hands-on science and engineering camps for high school students after their freshman or sophomore years. Operation Catapult provides three 11-day summer camp experiences for high school juniors and seniors to build their skills, knowledge, and connectedness with others who share the same STEM passions.

Current RoseSTEM partners include:

  • Center for Leadership Development, Indianapolis
  • GEO Next Generation High School & Academies, Indianapolis and Gary
  • Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis
  • Girl Scouts of Central Indiana
  • Herron School, Indianapolis
  • Minority Engineering Program of Indianapolis
  • 100 Black Women of South Bend
  • North Vigo High School, Terre Haute
  • South Vigo High School, Terre Haute
  • West Vigo High School, West Terre Haute
  • Noble Charter Schools, Chicago
  • Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago
  • Marian Catholic High School, Chicago Heights, Illinois