Lucy Gagnon ’24

Berkshire Innovation Center, Pittsfield, MA

This summer, I worked as a STEM Education Intern for the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC). The Berkshire Innovation Center aims to connect young students, colleges, and industry partners to foster curiosity and innovation in STEM fields. The BIC seeks to empower young students to develop a passion in STEM through initiatives like the BETA program, which exposes students to the BIC’s industry partners and educates them about the companies’ goals and purposes. The BIC also seeks to accelerate STEM company developments through providing members with world-class labs and office facilities. In addition, the BIC hosts the BETA program, which encourages high school students to identify their STEM interests and consider future careers in these fields.

Researching industry partners for the BIC.

My focus as a STEM Education Intern centered on researching member organizations and creating infographics that provide information on local STEM opportunities in a reader-friendly manner for local high schoolers. I collaborated with fellow interns Lauren Kauppila ’24 and Jimmy Li ’24 while researching and developing these infographics that will be presented as large posters and handouts at the BIC facility. In addition, I also spent considerable time brainstorming and planning new, interactive initiatives the BIC can employ to engage and educate local students about STEM opportunities in college and beyond.

While completing projects, the BIC also engaged me and my fellow interns in training to help us develop workplace skills that promote efficiency and purpose while working towards goals, thus providing me with certification that will aid me while applying to jobs in the future. Moreover, my supervisors demonstrated their commitment to helping the intern team succeed by holding frequent check-in meetings, allowing us to use the internship effectively to learn about our passions and how to succeed with our future academic and career goals. Through these training sessions and check-in meetings, I learned about more effective individual and collaborative strategies for completing work, and I gained a stronger sense of my values when determining a future career path.

My time at the BIC was also personally impactful because I am interested in providing avenues for students to engage in creative STEM pursuits. I am especially interested in the BIC’s mission to educate and inspire young people because it is important for students to understand that STEM fields can be applied to a variety of career paths and interests. Furthermore, I appreciate the BIC’s active efforts to cater to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and promote a variety of pathways to STEM professions, from options such as internships to local community college programs. Lastly, as a prospective chemistry major, I recognize the importance of engaging students in STEM fields at an early age, and I wanted to be able to draw from my own positive STEM experiences to engage students in a similar fashion through my internship.

I am especially grateful to the Class of 1972 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for their assistance and generosity, allowing me to engage fully in this internship experience with the BIC.