As with so many things, the COVID pandemic led us to re-imagine Saturday Academy’s Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program. Not only were 61 internships converted to an online format, our end of the year symposium was also adapted to the digital environment. Normally, the ASE internship culminates in the ASE Symposium, an end-of-summer gathering where interns, parents, mentors and special guest speakers gather to share the results of the interns’ hard work throughout the summer. We clearly couldn’t have everyone meet under one roof, so we needed to get creative with the event!
Fortunately, we had the tools and expertise to be able to run the entire event digitally! The ASE team worked with our IT department to train Saturday Academy staff to support Zoom meetings and webinars, how to record sessions, and how to professionally administer breakout sessions. We worked our way through several practice runs, so that on the day of the event, we knew how to provide support for a professional event. The first ever online ASE Symposium was a success: not only were the interns able to share their findings with their ASE colleagues, we also created custom recordings of their presentations that friends and family can view at our website! (You can view the student presentations on our web site here).
With all of the stresses this year has brought, we’re proud of all of our staff for stepping up to support the ASE Program’s foray into the digital world, and especially proud of the ASE interns for having the dedication and courage to keep pursuing their passions!