STEM Signing Day An Exciting Time For Students Hitting The Books Instead Of The Court


CHICAGO (CBS) – It’s one of the most exciting times for high school students: Signing Day. You’ll typically hear this term used to celebrate athletes who engage in college sports teams, but here in Chicago that can mean something else.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory brings us a signing day that honors students who hit the books.

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New Orleans jazzy music and jars of chemicals await Chicago public school student Nilah Marshall.

“Producing different flavors of ice cream or producing different smells for detergents, and I just thought that was really interesting,” Marshall said of some of the more intriguing jobs she’s heard chemical engineers work on. .

The high school student became interested in science, technology, engineering and math – or “STEM” – through high school projects. This passion fueled her decision to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at Xavier University in Louisiana. It also led her to Chicago’s STEM 2021 signing day.

Marshall is among 50 Chicago-area students honored for their pledge to study STEM subjects at university.

“I’m interested in STEM because it’s a growing field,” Lamaur Benjamin said in a video released at the virtual signing ceremony in Chicago.

“My dream job is to create medical devices to distribute to low-resource communities,” Katelyn Schumacher said in the same video.

“I aspire to become a software engineer,” said Amirah Ibrahim.

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In return for their STEM commitment, students receive scholarships of $ 1,000.

“It will help pay for my college experience, and probably most of it will go towards my books,” Marshall said.

The program is partly sponsored by Boeing. The Chicago-based company connects students and professionals. Many say the relationship is more valuable than money.

Just ask Steve Wilson and his mentor Candice Smith. Her STEM signing day was over two years ago, but the couple are still talking.

“It’s a blessing, honestly; just coming from the South Side of Chicago, a lot of my family has never been to college, ”Wilson, who just completed his sophomore year at Ohio State University. “Just being an engineer, being able to choose her brain, learn from her, understand some of the challenges she has encountered. “

Smith rose through the ranks at Boeing, a company whose engineers are working on megaprojects, including the Space Launch System Core Stage with NASA.

“He’s a person who wants to become an engineer, solve problems, change the world. If I can help him do it, why shouldn’t I? Said Smith, who serves as director of engineering people strategy for Boeing’s global technical team.

STEM Signing Day began in South Carolina, spanning Texas, California and beyond. The result? An investment in nearly 2,000 young minds across the country.

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Marshall is excited about his upcoming STEM journey. It has worked so far for Wilson. Friday was his first day as an intern at Boeing.

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