Fifteen sophomore and junior students from Oakland Catholic High School (OCHS) visited Braskem research center and witnessed, first-hand, the work being done by women in the male-dominated STEM field.
This educational opportunity was made possible with a $30,000 STEM scholarship donated to OCHS by Braskem and the Bridge Educational Foundation through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC). This partnership between Braskem and Oakland Catholic, is in its third year, and has proven beneficial to both the student and engineers who participate.
"Exposing them to what we do and how there are a lot of careers for women in our industry early on so they can get excited about it, is something we believe in," said Leslie Bockman, Braskem Business Development Manager.
Braskem's panel of female engineers answered many questions, guided students on
a tour of the plastics facility, and conversed one-on-one during lunch. "The field trip increased my knowledge of engineering and the different careers available," said Isabel Volpe, a junior. "I was able to observe work being done in an actual lab, and I could see myself doing something similar."
Caroline Sarneso, an OC sophomore, articulated what she and her classmates agreed was an eye-opening experience. "Seeing women in such high-powered positions in STEM fields was so inspiring. The number of women working in STEM-based careers is increasing, and Braskem is ahead of the curve."
KDKA television was present on September 26th to document the event and capture the students' excitement.