BTM Partners with High School STEM Program to Give Students Real-World Experience

You may already be familiar with our efforts in Vietnam to build safe housing for families and support children pursuing an education. Here in the U.S., one of our latest partnerships is with Apple Valley High School and its E3 STEM Program (Exploration, Education and Employment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).IMG_2751

“It’s always been important for BTM to give back to the community,” explained BTM CEO Tom Schoen. “We financially support several charitable efforts, but we especially appreciate partnerships that provide a way for our employees to personally participate. This is a first-of-its-kind partnership for us and we’re really excited about it.”

The goal of the E3 program is to expose students to a wide variety of STEM careers so they are better informed about their options when it comes time to choose a higher education path and career. Our employees mentor students on a variety of projects, giving them first-hand experience working with an organization in their field of interest.

One example of a collaborative project involves the design and creation of promotional products. Students have presented product ideas to our teams, with the possibility that they may be chosen for various BTM programs or campaigns. In another case, students presented on several upcoming STEM competitions that they wished to attend. They did a formal presentation to our teams in which they outlined the benefits of participating in the competitions, along with a request for funds to support their participation.

BTM employees also have opportunities to lend their expertise to various events, including a networking and interview workshop for students, a robotics engineering competition and more.

IMG_2942.JPG“It’s a thrill for students to have this opportunity for mentorship and collaboration,” said Jim Lynch, E3 STEM program manager. “Generous partners like BTM provide a critical connection for students, which allows them to explore a whole new world of possibilities. It’s one thing to work on these ideas and projects in the classroom, but applying them in the real world helps students make more informed decisions about their future studies and careers.”

“When I was that age, I thought I was lucky to be exposed to one career option,” said Schoen. “This program offers students dozens of real-life projects and connections; it gives them knowledge of the business world and actual skills. It makes such an impact when schools and business connect and share experiences. I really think a lot of businesses are willing to do something like this – sometimes all a school has to do is ask.”

For more information on the partnership, check out this article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.