One of the most important aspects of our work at BoSTEM would not be possible without the work of our outstanding corporate partners. Today we want to highlight our partnership with Rapid 7, a cybersecurity company based in Boston. Rapid 7 is a long-time partner of BoSTEM and its rotational program participants, or ‘Rotateos’, have played a crucial role in many BoSTEM programs and volunteering opportunities.
The rotational program at Rapid 7 is an 18 month long program where recent graduates can join different sections of the Rapid 7 team and work across multiple different areas of the company itself. As a part of being a ‘rotato’, one is required to volunteer and engage with the local community, and this is where BoSTEM comes into play. Rotateos have played an important role in much of BoSTEM’s programming and we want to thank them for their contributions to help inspire the students of Boston to pursue careers in STEM.
Here are some of the programs and volunteering opportunities that Rapid 7 and its rotateos have participated in.
The teacher externship program that BoSTEM runs in tandem with Boston Public Schools is an important opportunity for teachers to learn about what is going on in STEM industries and how they can bring these new practices to their classrooms. Having the opportunity to hear directly from STEM professionals about their industry will help teachers better prepare their students for their future careers by showing them what STEM companies are looking for in new employees.
This past February, during the students vacation time, teachers were hard at work learning about Rapid 7 with the rotateos. During the cybersecurity externship, members of the Rapid 7 rotational program gave presentations about the company and culture, proper internet safety techniques, and met with teachers in small groups so they could ask questions. One important conservation the Rapid 7 team had with teachers was about ‘soft skills’. Rapid 7 defined soft skills as skills that are applicable in a broad sense across all different sectors of a company and stressed to educators that students don’t need to be interested in technology to work for a tech company.
On the final of the externship event, teachers reflected back on their conversations with Rapid 7 saying they felt inspired to educate not only students but parents and families on the importance of cybersecurity and internet safety. They also mentioned trying to implement the ideas behind the rotational program into their classrooms while also emphasizing the importance of soft skills.
Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Rapid 7 was generous enough to open its doors to BoSTEM and the West End House Boys & Girls Club and host a field trip. The field trip hosted about 25 students and featured 10 volunteers. At this field trip, students got to learn all about the different careers available at Rapid 7 and chat with employees and rotateos about their careers and pathways. Students also got a tour of Rapid 7’s, at the time, brand new office space at the TD Garden to see what it looks like to work at a STEM company.
Students also had the opportunity to participate in an activity that helped teach students about the different types of jobs at Rapid 7 and the different skills they would need to work at a cybersecurity company. The activity saw students participating in three smaller activities that when completed, would reveal a code to a secret safe that held prizes for the students. The activities included code breaking, circuit building, and investigation to find a hacker. These activities helped reinforce concepts of cybersecurity while also giving students a fun glimpse into the type of careers available in the industry.
STEM Chats and Bites
STEM Chats and Bites are a great way for volunteers to help students by giving great advice and explaining industry concepts to students, and we’ve been incredibly lucky to have many Rapid 7 employees sit down with us to chat. Rotateos Max Berezin and Ned Cramer hosted a STEM chat about their careers in computer science and coding while Sophie Johnson and TJ Flaherty did a STEM chat about the Rapid 7 Rotational Program and what they’ve learned doing it. The rotateos also did STEM bites on cybersecurity, math in credit cards, and how the internet works.
Doing a STEM Chat or Bite is a great and easy way to volunteer with BoSTEM. If you’re interested in doing a STEM Chat or Bite with us, follow this link here to sign up!
Movie, Make + Meet
The rotateos of Rapid 7 also hosted one of our Movie, Make + Meet events back in January to celebrate the birthday of Ada Lovelace, the first published female computer scientist. Movie, Make + Meet events consist of viewing a film that has something to do with a topic or concept in STEM and chatting with a STEM professional while participating in a maker activity.
For this event, students got to learn about Ada Lovelace by watching a documentary about her life called Calculating Ada – The Countess of Computing. During the movie, students got the chance to talk with members of the Rapid 7 rotational program and participate in an Ada Lovelace-inspired maker activity using Raspberry Pis.
In the Community
Rapid 7 was also our first corporate partner to support students in person. In December volunteers planned and hosted a career conversation at the Orchard Gardens school for middle school-aged students, so they could learn about different jobs in cybersecurity and speak directly with professionals.
Thank You Rapid 7!
All of us at BoSTEM want to thank Rapid 7 and its team of rotateos for helping BoSTEM in all of these different programs and activities! It is important to have local companies like Rapid 7 volunteering with us to help show the students of Boston all of the great STEM career opportunities that exist right in their backyards. We hope to collaborate with even more Boston companies in the future to help promote STEM education and foster a passion for STEM amongst the next generation of students. If you want to get involved with BoSTEM and volunteer, feel free to reach out to our STEM director Louis Baptista at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website!