Marlborough – Catherine Pollard, a junior in Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School’s Drafting and Design program, spent the summer as a paid intern at Boston Scientific.
She was granted the internship as part of a STEM Council formed five years ago and is made up of Boston Scientific employees. The Youth Partnership Program that Pollard participated in was brand new and was piloted this past summer, according to Caitlin Comer, a Sr. Community Engagement Specialist with Boston Scientific.
“The selection process was fairly involved,” recalled Robert McCann III, the director of academics at Assabet. “Teachers had to recommend students, resumes had to be collected, and Boston Scientific’s Tom Jones and Caitlin Comer interviewed all the candidates. They chose five students, one of whom was our Catherine Pollard, a rising junior at the time.”
Pollard, from Hudson, participated in the JROTC program last year and has joined Assabet’s FIRST robotics team this year.
The assignment for the scholarship group was to design a STEM curriculum with 10 lesson plans for the sixth- and seventh-grade girls at the MetroWest Boys and Girls Clubhouse in Marlborough. The finished product included worksheets and hands-on labs, with additional expectations that the interns would each volunteer at the clubhouse throughout the year to help teach their most familiar area. Marlborough instructor Kelly Hall will use the curriculum to work with the girls at the clubhouse.
“The drafting part was designing a prosthetic device that would make life easier,” explained Pollard. “This was a great opportunity to work at an industry-related job and learn more about Boston Scientific as well. We had lab tours and got to network with the college interns. … I was originally thinking I would go on to aerospace engineering, but now I am definitely shifting to biomedical engineering!”
Joining Pollard and the team of students was Steve Pleau, a computer programming instructor from Assabet.
“They needed someone who was used to dealing with teens to oversee the project, keep them on task, and make sure they had what they needed,” Pleau explained.
He was able to join them for professional development credits through a grant from Fitchburg State and was tasked with submitting all the paperwork to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“This is the best group I have ever worked with; it was just phenomenal how they gelled as a team in one day,” he noted. “Teamwork is necessary in the workplace, along with independent learning.”
McCann added that seeing like-minded students collaborate at a higher level was very impressive.
“It was great to see what the students can do all together. I was so glad that Catherine was a part of this,” he said. “She is an extremely bright student with an incredible future, and this is only step one on the path to any career in whatever field she ultimately chooses.”