STEMS Connect Program

Hands picking flowers out of dirt

STEMS is down to its roots in community-based service learning, and is ready to get down and dirty with Wayland High School students – in the healthiest way possible, of course!

In June, Cassie and Lisa met with the Connect Program at Wayland High School, a team-taught English and history elective that allows students “to experience their education in a way that addresses real-world problems through collaboration and community involvement,” according to the school’s course catalogue. The interdisciplinary, year-long course, open to seniors, focuses on practical and relevant application of skills learned; the content of the course focuses on several thematic units that are based on current issues – some teacher-directed, some student-directed. Cassie and Lisa wanted to suggest a local option for one of Connect’s thematic units.

Enter STEMS as one of the course’s spring and summer projects!

STEMS will begin its work with the Connect Program in the spring as one of the programs’ seven hands-on topics, then springboard into summer under the auspices of Business and Management. STEMS will also work with the Entrepreneur Program and Wayland High’s Garden Club in this realm. 

“By the end of the course, students will have experience identifying and working to create solutions to school/community issues, educating others in the process, and pursuing their own interests toward a tangible goal,” the catalogue states.

“It’s important to understand and provide stepping stones to the next generation,” said Cassie, reflecting on her work with local high school students. Fresh from New York City, where she watched her mother Lisa win a Top Women Award for Business Entrepreneurs from PRNEWS, Cassie was inspired by her mother’s legacy. “I thought about what I could provide to the next generation,” Cassie said. “What can we give?”

Wayland High’s course catalogue states that “students should be prepared to work hard, be curious, be accountable, work effectively with others, handle ambiguity, self-motivate, be outside and/or work with their hands, and produce work on a deadline,” all things entrepreneurs, as well as freshly-minted graduates, should know how to do. 

“I’m all about having any sort of influence that would help put people on the next path,” Cassie said. She started working with high school students at STEMS’ inception in 2020, starting with just three interested students on a volunteer basis.

STEMS Wayland