And so on Feb. 27, in front of the school's students who were as little as pre-K and kindergarteners and as big as eighth- and ninth-graders, DeWitt bounced around the room to give an energetic science lesson on a subject that could potentially be scary: DNA.
Massachusetts' economy relies heavily on jobs in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. About 17 percent of all jobs in the commonwealth are related to STEM — a third higher than the national average.
Shawna Axenroth and her daughter got hiking in the scenic Berkshire hills, and talk about the environment. They run science experiments in their kitchen.
And they are both looking to pursue scientific careers.
Now in its sixth year, the academy offers five days on campus meeting professors and likely classmates and trying out the labs in the new Feigenbaum Center for Science & Innovation. The program is entirely funded by Berkshire Bank.
High school students from Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties gathered in the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts gymnasium Friday to vie for a spot in the state science fair and heard from keynote speaker Jeffrey Thomas, founder and executive director of Lever, a startup incubator.
The students that stand out for BCC's Dean of Academic Affairs Charles Kaminski are the ones who come in with bold dreams.
It is the women who come from a family of nurses and want to take that a step forward and become biochemists. Or the girl who starts out thinking about becoming a teacher and instead aims to become a data analyst.