STEM Students Give a Big “10-4” to Public Safety Careers

Bourns Sponsors Summer STEM Academy

Tech careers are comprised of more than just engineering jobs. Intelligent people with tech skills are needed today in almost every industry including a variety of public safety roles.  That’s why the Science and Technology Education Partnership (STEP) was established. STEP has as its charter to bridge the skills gap between K-12 students and what is required in the high tech industry.  Riverside’s STEP organization has ongoing programs to encourage students to graduate from college with degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Bourns has been a major supporter of STEP, and a sponsor of many educational programs created to get students excited about STEM studies.

High school students from the Riverside Unified School District just received immersive training to put their STEM knowledge to work to enhance public safety. Bourns was the primary sponsor of the Summer STEM LEAPS (STEM in Law Enforcement and Public Safety) and STEM PULL (STEM in Public Utilities Learning Labs), at no cost to the students. From July 15 – 26, 140 students were trained in various aspects of how STEP concepts can be practically applied to public safety careers in law enforcement, fire and with public utilities. Bourns and STEP are prototyping a new program for the summer of 2020, STEM in Advanced Manufacturing.

Offering an interesting curriculum, students received hands-on instruction in everything from how to analyze crime data and investigate arson and fires to developing mobile apps for emergency situations and learning about grid safety and crisis management.  Students were also eligible to receive 5 units of elective credit or 20 service hours – not too bad for a fun week of learning and friendship building.

At the end of Summer Academy, students participated in a design competition. Teams were formed where each would design a project to help solve or alleviate a known public safety issue. After their presentations, scholarships were awarded with the first place team receiving $1,000; the second place team $750 and the third place team $500.  Winners will also be mentored to further develop their product.

Bourns remains committed to keeping students in hot pursuit of the STEM knowledge they will need to be successful in their career choice.  Students have expressed how grateful they are for this program exposing them to different careers, learning how to think outside the box and improved their self-confidence through public speaking.  Each year students encourage their friends to attend the academy and they return as mentors. We look forward to continuing our partnership with STEP by hosting STEPCON19 in October.

We would also like to acknowledge other organizations who helped make the STEM LEAPS/PULL academies a success.


Leave a Reply