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Museum of Science Co-op Merges STEM and Humanities

March 10, 2017

Hannah Schulze, BME ’18, has long believed that STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) and humanities belong together.

A biomedical engineering major at Wentworth working toward a minor in writing through the Colleges of the Fenway, Schulze is currently spending her co-op with the Boston Museum of Science.

“Innovation doesn't happen when a bunch of like-minded people with the same background get in a room and think about things. You need diverse, educated perspectives,” she says.

Schulze says that support from faculty and staff at Wentworth, especially Senior Co-op and Career Advisor Lauren Creamer, helped her secure her current position at the Museum of Science. Schulze works with the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) group as a research intern, where she collects and analyzes classroom data to help improve science teaching in local schools.

“This work feels very personal,” Schulze says. “Engineers need to be able to communicate their findings and understand the cultural context in which their designs are placed. The more I learn about the lessons, the research, and the mission, the more invested I feel in the cause.”

EiE provides curricula for educators and helps promote engineering literacy among children. Schulze is part of a team that is working to enhance children’s problem-solving abilities in the classroom. EiE also houses the museum’s Engineering Everywhere program, which provides students after-school and camp programs consisting of engineering design challenges.

“What more could I ask for than to be invested in my work?” asks Schulze.

While she is thrilled to be at the Museum of Science, Schulze initially thought her spring co-op would be spent at the White House working for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Hired under the Obama administration, her position fell through after the new administration entered in January. Not deterred, Schulze worked with the Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development and was able to find her current position in a short amount of time.

Schulze stresses the importance of reaching for something that seems challenging, saying, “The worst a company can say is ‘no’. [Students] should reach for something big while they are here.”

She adds, “It was difficult at the time, but then I got going again. After I told [Dean of Students] Annamaria Wenner about the first co-op not working out, she told me that she thought it happened for a reason. She was right. Even though things didn't turn out how I planned, they turned out how I wanted.”

—A.J. Martin

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