Thirty students from Camden Academy Charter High School visited Campbell’s World Headquarters in Camden, N.J. as part of the second annual global STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Career Accelerator Day.
Hosted by Menexia Tsoubeli, Vice President-R&D, Garden Fresh, the students worked alongside Campbell’s Chefs and R&D employees to create recipes and design packaging for Campbell’s soups, beverages or simple meals. The students then learned how to commercialize their recipes during a tour of Campbell’s pilot plant.
Campbell’s President and CEO Denise Morrison joined the students for lunch and discussed their future careers. “You can overcome any challenge with self-esteem, drive, determination, strong values and a purpose,” said Morrison. “With the resources and mentors available to you through programs such as the STEM Career Accelerator, you can pursue exciting opportunities and achieve your dreams in your life and career… but it is up to you!”
“From a professional standpoint, we need more scientists and engineers, not only at Campbell but all over,” said Carlos Barroso, Senior Vice President-Global R&D. “This is a unique opportunity to not only engage and inspire students who have an interest in STEM, but also allows us, the employers, the opportunity to help frame the curriculum and develop the skills needed for future STEM roles and potential future candidates. If we convinced just one of these students to go into a STEM field, then I consider today a success.”
STEM Career Accelerator Day 2015 aims to expose and excite 10,000 students in grades eight through 12 to engage STEM careers through an experiential visit and interaction with professionals. A particular focus for the global program is to engage young women and students from minority backgrounds to consider STEM careers.
“It was fun,” fifteen-year-old sophomore Julianna Jimenez said. “I liked how it was hands-on instead of them just talking to us because it’s nice to get a feel of what they do instead of hearing it.”