STARS brings together Bank of America, Richmond Public Schools (RPS), and VCU Engineering to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the Richmond region. This program provides participants with industry-ready knowledge and experiences in computer and data science by:
- Building on existing and new outreach partnerships
- Leveraging available resources
- Working in conjunction with existing RPS initiatives to support established goals around STEM learning
STARS aims to support students from populations typically underrepresented in engineering and computer science with a long-term goal of increasing the diversity of the tech talent workforce in Virginia.
STARS Summer Challenge
Interested in data science? Want to know how to use data to answer big questions? We will show you the method to the madness!
The 2023 STARS Summer Challenge (Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 21, 2023) will be an engaging experience for Richmond high school students that focuses on analyzing local data and making innovative policy recommendations.
In this free, hybrid-format program, participants will have the opportunity to connect with their peers while engaging in dialogue with leading experts in data science, engineering, and other disciplines.
|Mon, July 10 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Welcome and Intro to Data Analytics | Zoom
|Tues, July 11 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Analyzing Environmental Data | Zoom
|Wed, July 12 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Intro to Data Analysis Visualizations | Zoom
|Thurs, July 13 | 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
|Alteryx Digital Escape Room | In-Person at VCU
|Fri, July 14 | 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Teamwork | Zoom
|Mon, July 17 | 10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Public Speaking 101 | Zoom
|Tues, July 18 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Progress Check | Zoom
|Wed, July 19 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Teamwork | Zoom
|Thurs, July 20 | 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
|Practice Presentations | Zoom
|Fri, July 21 | 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
|Final Presentations | In-Person at VCU
For more information and to register your student, please click the button below.
STARS Career Coaching
Are you a professional in a tech-related field ready to give back? As a STARS Career Coach, you can make a difference by presenting youth with opportunities in the tech industry while guiding them along a journey of career exploration.
Coaches meet monthly with groups of students and follow an existing curriculum that frames discussions and allows coaches to bring their own experiences into the program.
This year, the STARS Career Coach program will collaborate with the following schools:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School (RPS STEM Academy)
- Richmond Technical Center: Engineering & Technology (Governor’s CTE Academy for STEM)
If you are interested in volunteering for any of these efforts, please click the button below to be added to our email list.
The STARS Approach
The STARS program employs a holistic approach of three aspects: content, mentorship, and exploration. By focusing on the whole experience of students, STARS is able to make an impact on student interest and tech pathway retention.
In preparing students for continued learning in higher education, STARS provides supporting content that aligns with local educational curricula and industry-desired skill sets. All content is created by collaborative teams composed of RPS teachers; Bank of America employees; and VCU Engineering students, faculty, and staff. The result is engaging, accessible, and practical content that meets Virginia educational standards.
STARS utilizes Career Coaches, volunteers who serve as mentors for RPS students. These Coaches include local industry and higher education professionals who help students explore career readiness, opportunity awareness, and the tech talent pathway. This mentorship approach guides students through individual skills and interests while highlighting career opportunities in technical, STEM-related, and tech-adjacent fields. Regular meetings throughout the program provide structure and reliability for the coach-protégé relationship.
As students become aware of and interested in engineering, computer science, and other STEM-related fields, the STARS program provides optional opportunities for further exploration. These include camps, competitions, and research experiences that are designed to support STARS participants who would like additional involvement.
RPS has existing STEM Academy programming at both Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School and the Richmond Technical Center. STARS collaborates with these programs to position students for success as they seek opportunities in technical careers.
Want to know more?
Learn more about last year’s graduation ceremony. This website highlights the achievements of both the students and the program at Richmond Technical Center. It includes photos of volunteers, descriptions of workshops and activities, and more information about students’ accomplishments.