Chief Science Officers (CSOs) are not just encouraged to have big ideas, they’re told to put in the action steps to make those ideas happen. A spark from CSO Danya, an eighth grade CSO in Mexico, led to the creation of an online learning series that has drawn the involvement of students around the world who are excited to make their quarantine time both fun and productive.

SciTech Institute™, in partnership with CSO International, launched “Zoom in on Science” to showcase science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals and their careers. The goal of the series is to help students and the community at large better understand the impact of STEM jobs, as well as future career opportunities.

“Improving awareness and participation in STEM education has been a key initiative of the Arizona Technology Council and SciTech Institute over the last 10 years,” said Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO, Arizona Technology Council and SciTech Institute. “With ‘Zoom in on Science,’ we can provide our youth with insight on real career opportunities that they can pursue with an education focused in STEM. We’re thrilled to bring this program to children and parents throughout our community and beyond.”

Zoom in on Science has evolved and now is a monthly event featuring a panel of professionals in related careers. June’s theme was “Capture STEM.” On June 29, the broadcast featured an expert panel in media, film, photography and digital storytelling.  Panelists included: 

During the event, student attendees had the opportunity to ask questions of the panel and be involved in discussions with other CSOs, advisors, K-12 educators and the SciTech Institute’s network of STEM-minded participants.

CSO Ben facilitated the breakout session with Sam Pagel, the Chief Creative Officer of Resound. Ben said:

I learned about his company and how they help other businesses and companies by creating videos, logos, and other forms of digital media. It was very interesting to see how the marketing team and creative team work together to create a finished product.

It was also cool to hear about Sam and how he got to where he was. I learned that he was an entrepreneur and started his own business. He is also an ASU grad that did a complete 180 on his degree after originally going to school for engineering; he ended up going to school as a journalist. After realizing he enjoyed the production more than the actual reporting, he went into the media business where he started a company right out of college.

I personally learned a lot from what Sam said. He did a very good job presenting and kept the mood fun, yet productive. 

I learned how valuable collaboration is in the workplace. I also learned how a team can get something done faster and with better quality. Also, having an interest in digital media myself, I was in awe of all of the endless possibilities I could have in choosing what I want to pursue. Learning that Sam’s job is just one in a vast amount of jobs that a person with a passion for video production can take an interest in.

I would recommend any future Zoom in on Science calls to broaden your horizons on what possible futures are out there for you. You could even learn about a completely different topic you had no idea existed and develop a deep and meaningful passion for that profession.

“Finding innovative ways to support learning at home is critical during these times,” said Kelly Greene, chief operating officer, SciTech Institute. “‘Zoom in on Science’ is a valuable resource that explores the interesting and important STEM careers in your community and across the globe.  

Since launching the “Zoom in on Science” virtual series during COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, the SciTech Institute has connected CSOs around the globe, including in Kenya, Kuwait, Mexico and nine states in the United States.

Watch the Capture STEM panel here; you’ll learn from each of the STEM professionals – and we bet you’ll be impressed with the CSOs too!

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