Five months ago, more than 100 businesses and educators gathered in a cafeteria to have a conversation. The official name for the event was the STEM and Global Studies World Café, sponsored by Biogen.

The partnerships that came from the event have caused educators and business leaders to rethink the public-private partnership.

Last month we talked about the great stories that we’ve heard coming out of the Café and how students and educators have been impacted. However, the effects of World Café don’t end in the classroom. A team of scientists are working with students at Athens Drive High School on their senior projects. It started when Heui Chen Lao represented her scientific organization at the World Café.

“There is a gap between students and scientists,” she said, “and it’s a huge gap.”

After hearing what teachers needed, Lao reached out to the scientists at her organization and asked if they would be willing to mentor a class of students. Eight scientists responded including Medical Engineer Oswaldo Lozoya, Ph. D. He felt it was important to reach back and help the next generation, just like he was helped.

“Whether scientist engineer or any discipline, you need help to enhance your career,” he said.

As busy as the scientists are, they are taking time throughout the second semester to ensure the success of future generations. Oswaldo calls it a commitment to the society that supports your business. He can see that there is direct connection from the classroom to the workplace, but the journey can become hazy without guidance. The relationships formed at The World Café help provide that guidance, expanding the influence of the business and securing the profession for another generation.

See the video below for an example of this.