Students from our Cambridge cohort visited the Biogen community lab where they conducted science experiments, in addition to learning about diversity and leadership. Special thanks to our hosts Biogen for opportunities like these that allow students that don't typically have this degree of access to engage with and learn about STEM! #BiogenSTAR
By: Begimai, Enroot 9th grade student
When during Enroot seminar Mrs. Sandra asked ‘who wants to go to a conference on “Girls to Engineering Day” I raised my hand even when I did not know what’s engineering really means. I just raised my hand because I knew it’s a chance to discover something new for myself. I knew that engineers build and count. This was the only information I knew about engineering. After this trip I know more than I knew before. I learned that engineers are problem solvers. When they work on something, they predict effects. This is an important feature of an engineer. Also I’m glad that members of this event answered the main and important question: what makes an engineer? Curiosity, creativity, teamwork, opportunities, helping others. I understand that I do not have all these features, but I’ll work on it because I need these features even if I’m not an engineer. I need them as a person who wants to improve herself. I think all of us need these features.
Going to this conference was interesting. I do not regret that I participated in this event. We practiced being an engineer. We built a school on a map. We selected relevant materials and thought about price and benefit. That moment I understood how hard is being an engineer because you must to think about many things. If you change one thing, you change other thing as well or sometimes everything. My favorite activity was making a beach. We had to protect a house from big weaves. We thought how to make the house safer. We had some options and we chose the best one. At the end we decorated the house to make it funnier. But I was sad when we destructed the beach and the house. I was sad no long because I won a prize! The prize was a book. In my opinion I won the best thing because a book is the most helpful thing in my life. It gives me knowledge and helps me. I was glad that I went there. I learnt a lot of new things.
Thank You Mrs. Sandra and Girls to Engineering!
By: Adnan, Enroot 12th grade student
Enroot is celebrating Black History Month! We’ve decided to do something different this year. Everyday of February we will post some facts about places that Black people call home and some stories of Black unsung heroes. These places include Africa and the Caribbean, but also Latin America, where many identify as Black. We are hanging these features on a wall where our staff and students can learn new things every day! This wall will be at our Enroot office and in our offices at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and at Somerville High School.
It includes people like Barbara C. Jordan - she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction. Frederick Douglass escaped slavery and became a national leader of abolitionists. Bessie Coleman was the first licensed African American female pilot. We also learned that more than a million African slaves were brought to Cuba as part of the Atlantic Slave Trade. It is said that 65% of the Cuban population are descendants of slaves. Additionally, Ethiopia was the only country in Africa which never colonized! We are so excited to learn and share more throughout this month in honor of the people and places of Black history.
Somerville High School Enroot students visited Akamai last week to learn about careers in technology. Akamai, one of the largest content delivery networks, is based nearby in Cambridge. After a rainy commute to Kendall, students were greeted with cookies, an engaging tour of Akamai’s workplace, and the opportunity to ask questions.
Students spoke with employees about the many varied paths they had taken to work at a technology company. They learned that many Akamai employees had no formal training in computer science at all, but were rather trained in the specificity of Akamai’s work only after joining the team. Akamai employees stressed the value they see in students with problem solving skills and the appreciation they have for diversity, particularly through their many recruitment programs for applicants of minority backgrounds. Students left with reassurance that behind the intimidating computer screens were smiling, welcoming faces and with a sense of confidence that in just a few years they could be right alongside them.
Despite the freezing weather, Enroot students came out to serve their community at Many Helping Hands’ Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 21st in Cambridge. Enroot students volunteered alongside nearly 3000 members of the Cambridge community including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Ayanna Pressley, as they made scarves, blankets, and Valentines Day cards. Read more on the day in the Cambridge Chronicle.
By: Adnan, Enroot 12th grade student
On January 17th, we had a special seminar and we went on a field trip to Fidelity. Fidelity is a multinational financial services corporation based in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s one of the largest asset managers, it controls around $2.5 trillion.
We were exploring and admiring the art around the building, led by an employee who worked at Fidelity for 12 years. There was an art which really surprised me, it was called “Eumorph” made by August Ventimiglia. He made it with chalk tape. There was another one which was fascinating. It was made by Thor and Jennifer Bueno called “silver series.” It was made of different shapes of silver droplets and contained a chemical element called Mercury.
We also had some delicious snacks that they offered us. We had an panel where we talked to 3 employees and they were sharing their past with us. They told us how long it took for them in order to be what they are today. They also talked about a rotational program where you can work with different people in different departments, which will help us discover what we want to continue doing. We also talked to different employees who had different majors in college.
I personally think it was a great experience talking to different people and know their opinion about how to succeed. I also added them in linkedin in order to stay connected with them, so I can keep talking to them and in future they can help get a job or internship.
Enroot held a STEAM panel yesterday featuring careers in robotics, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, e-commerce, and IT infrastructure. Thank you to Biogen for including our students in the STAR Initiative and making learning opportunities like this possible! A special thank you to our panelists from Ava Robotics, Akamai Technologies, Sensata Technologies, CarGurus, and Biogen.
On October 31st, the Enroot female students made a trip to Simmons University located in the Boston area. Simmons University is a women-focused university. At the University, students were given a presentation about the requirements to apply to the university. Students were also guided about the financial aid at Simmons University. Students were told about the scholarships that Simmons has to offer. Finally, students were educated about the programs Simmons offers to those who are undergrad.
Something to take into consideration from the tour to Simmons University is the Kotzen Scholarship that Simmons offers to those who have a GPA of 3.49 and SAT scores of 1300 or above. The Kotzen Scholarship covers the cost for tuition, study abroad, and dorms. Students were informed that they can commute from home while being a student at the Simmons University.
Enroot always takes students to tour like this to different universities and colleges. It is really helpful for students who are seniors and also the ones who are juniors, sophomores, and freshmen because the tour can help students figure out which college is the best fit for them.
On October 15th , the first Enroot seminar of the year started with all the excitement and joy. I saw happiness in people and Enroot staff to just be in the seminar. We met for the first time with students, friends and staff and talked about our summer, how we’ve been. We had seminar for the whole week. On the first day, we introduced each other and welcomed the new Georgia which is Katie. Katie makes sure mentees meet their mentor and same for tutoring.
We played games like Would You Rather, The Great Wind Blows and the blanket game, which was a great activity for us to learn each other’s names. We also got in groups of 4 and made posters about our culture. We divided a poster into 4 and we shared our culture. Anything which represents our culture, we drew that on the poster. One of the fun activities was mirror drawing. It was an excellent way to enhance your writing and listening skills.
We are in the Leadership Program, which also gives us an internship along with tutoring, mentoring and weekly seminar. We talked about internships, how to dress professionally and how to go for an interview. The Cambridge Program Director Sandra Canas and staff member Debbie acted out being a bad and good intern. We also took an survey about how are we doing in this program. I am glad Enroot started again, I know I am gonna enjoy a lot and I look forward to it.
Who is welcome and safe here? The Cambridge Historical Society delved into questions of identity, belonging, and welcoming at their Fall Forum.
Three Enroot students presented their stories of immigration from India, Haiti, and Morocco to the United States. Students focused on the struggle to learn English, navigate a new school system, and find community in a new city.
A group of panelists discussed historical and contemporary dimensions of immigration in Cambridge, which became a Sanctuary City in 1985. The panel discussion featured Cambridge Police Superintendent Christine Elow, Nestor Pimienta of Harvard Divinity School, Charles Sullivan from Cambridge Historical Commission, and moderated by Reverend Irene Monroe.