Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Platform showcases students STEM skills to future employers and colleges

We’ve already seen a social network for kids that enables them to showcase their DIY talents, but our latest spotting aims to go one step further. GradFly is a platform for young students to build an online portfolio of their science projects, in order to attract colleges and employers when they leave school. Young people taking science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses and participating in computing and robotics clubs at school can often mention these on CVs and application forms, but they don’t really tell the full story behind the projects they’ve actually worked on. Much like Behance does for creative students, GradFly enables users to upload multimedia galleries of their previous high school or college initiatives to showcase their talents in one place. As well as benefitting from the support of a community of peers, GradFly also acts as a place for education institutions and companies to scout out interesting and groundbreaking work, which would otherwise be hidden behind school walls. Indeed, the site goes even further by analysing their profiles and suggesting colleges, internships and jobs that match the kind of work they’ve been doing. Students can also participate in contests to win scholarships and prizes, as well as raise awareness of their work. According to reports, NASA is already signed on to sponsor student aeronautics competitions through GradFly. Launching in the next month or so, GradFly goes some way to help STEM students – whose skills are in high demand in today’s technological world – connect with the careers and learning opportunities that otherwise may have alluded them. Recruiters – who pay for premium access and usage of the site – also benefit from being able to see the students that really match their needs. Could this model be profitable for other industries?

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