July 2023 – With a rich heritage of diversity, equity and inclusion leadership, the Boston-based engineering and construction firm, CDM Smith, recently joined JerseySTEM as a sponsoring partner. The partnership’s mission is to close the STEM education gender gap by creating more opportunities for underserved middle school girls in New Jersey to engage with STEM topics. Early exposure to STEM topics provides young girls with more career options to think about as they progress through high school and college. 

The partnership resulted from CDM Smith’s industry-leading college internship program in the  fall of 2022. The Company sponsored a t-shirt design contest among its 114 interns around the world, and New Jersey native Megha Sawhney’s design was chosen as the winner. Megha created a design that was inspired by the projects she worked on, which included wastewater treatment, lead service line replacements, and green infrastructure.

Megha chose JerseySTEM  “because I respect how they’ve recognized the gender gap in the STEM field, and how they’re making efforts to close it,” she said. The proceeds from the t-shirt sales amounted to about $3,320. CDM Smith matched the amount, doubling the donation to $6,640. The money raised funded a 10-week after school course on basic coding, taught by a  volunteer college student, for students attending Robert Treat Academy in Newark, in New Jersey.

CDM Smith and City of Newark engineers presented STEMTalks to students at Robert Treat Academy in Newark. The engineers discussed their career pathways and how the work they do contributes to a better world.

“I respect how they’ve recognized the gender gap in the STEM field, and how they’re making efforts to close it” – Megha Sawhney, CDM Smith intern

In addition, CDM Smith hosted STEMTalks in which company engineers met face-to-face with students. The students presented their results of the coding projects they worked on throughout the semester, while CDM Smith engineers provided feedback on the projects and shared with the young students their inspirations to become engineers and how their work is making the world a better place.

Students at Robert Treat Academy presented the results of their coding project to CDM Smith and City of Newark engineers. The presentation generated a lively discussion and question and answer session.

The partnership is essential for JerseySTEM to continue to address the opportunity gap by expanding access to STEM programs in underserved communities and to make the future STEM workforce more diverse.

For more JerseySTEM partner information, visit www.jerseystem.org/corporate-sponsor-opportunities/