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Friday, April 19, 2024

Forecast 2024: Sarah Jaeger of GE Concentrates on Captivating Young Brains via STEAM


SCHENECTADY — Sarah Jaeger,‍ the intellectual property counsel at ​General Electric, vividly ⁤recalls a moment when she was mentoring⁢ a ⁣young girl during a “Shark Tank”-style event, part of‍ the company’s summer⁢ enrichment programs. The girl’s unique talent caught her attention.

Jaeger was assisting the girl in developing her idea, a charming little house for⁢ cats. ⁢The girl, however, was unsure ​about the⁣ worth of her invention, Jaeger ‍remembered.

“The⁢ invention was adorable. ‌They’re⁢ just middle schoolers, but what struck‌ me was the girl’s exceptional drawing skills,” Jaeger said. “Her drawing⁣ was so impressive, it could have been mistaken for⁤ a ‌Pixar animator’s work.”

When Jaeger ​complimented the girl on her artistic abilities, it seemed as if no one had‍ ever acknowledged her talent before.

This encounter, Jaeger said, served as a reminder of the crucial role arts play ⁤in today’s education. STEAM, an educational approach that integrates arts into the well-known STEM model ‌(science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), is a testament to this.

“Arts are an ‌integral ‍part of STEAM,” she said.‍ “Not only was the ⁤girl’s ‍invention interesting, but she⁣ also​ discovered a talent she‌ didn’t know she possessed. From⁤ that day forward, she ​was always sketching.”

Such experiences motivate Jaeger to continue reaching out to⁣ local students, ⁢showing them the‍ potential opportunities that await them.

Jaeger, a native‍ of Niskayuna,‍ grew up⁢ near GE’s Global Research facility on River Road. She always aspired to work ⁣for​ the company.

While interning at the Albany District Attorney’s Office during her studies at Albany Law⁣ School, Jaeger was offered an ‌internship‌ at ‌GE. ⁤She seized the opportunity, ⁢working⁢ as‌ a legal operation intern under GE Licensing in 2013-2014.

“Working for GE Licensing opened my eyes to ⁤the field of intellectual property. No ​other area of ⁢practice seemed as fascinating,” ⁤she said.

Before ‌this internship, Jaeger thought she might pursue a career in criminal law.

It‍ was during her time at GE that Jaeger ⁢developed​ a deep affection for​ the ​company. She worked elsewhere until 2016 when she officially joined GE as an employee.

While Jaeger enjoys her ⁣role in the GE Licensing ⁣team, which ⁤involves identifying potential ways to ⁤commercialize GE’s technologies⁤ and assets,‍ she is also passionate about⁤ providing local ‍youth with opportunities to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

Jaeger is an active member of GE’s Women’s Network of⁢ the Capital Region, which collaborates​ with ‌local schools and⁣ youth ‍organizations on ​STEAM programming. She is also⁤ involved with⁣ GE Girls, a summer camp sponsored by ⁣GE and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, aimed at introducing girls to the opportunities in STEAM⁢ fields.

This year, Jaeger will serve as the Capital ⁣Region leader for GE‌ Girls,⁣ collaborating with the ⁤Girl Scouts of Northeastern ⁢New York, Rise High, ​PREFACE, and the Schenectady City ‍School District.

“I believe it’s crucial to​ expose ⁣them to the variety of careers available to them, jobs they ‌might not have known about otherwise.⁣ By introducing them⁣ to ⁢the world⁣ of STEM and ‌the work GE does, we ⁤can help them ⁢envision their ‍place in this field,” she said.

Jaeger, who feels privileged to work in fields traditionally dominated by ⁤men, is particularly interested in ‌reaching out to underrepresented and underserved students.

“There are students who are historically underrepresented or underserved in law or in STEAM. It’s important for these ⁣students to see ​what they‍ can achieve,” she said. “I believe⁣ both law and⁣ STEAM need students and professionals like them‍ to contribute to ​the field​ and drive progress. I feel​ a personal mission to​ show all students what they can achieve, especially those​ who⁢ have been historically underrepresented or underserved. I see immense potential in many of these students, and⁣ they often‌ don’t realize the ⁤skills they possess‌ and how they can leverage‌ them in their future ⁤careers. ​Exposing them to the possibilities and igniting their⁢ passion is of utmost importance.”

For instance, ‍during a summer program⁢ tour of a‌ GE building, a young boy eagerly asked what he needed to do to work at GE — a high ‌school diploma,⁢ a college degree?

Jaeger ⁤remembers the ⁤boy’s “eyes lighting up” when the tour guide explained the ⁤various paths he‍ could take to work at GE.

“The realization that he could achieve⁣ his dream, regardless of the path he chose, seemed to thrill him,” she said. “There are many moments like​ this when students realize‌ that their interests and talents can lead to‌ a fulfilling career, and that such a⁤ career is possible right​ here​ in ⁢Schenectady.”

In recognition of her ​efforts to⁤ inspire ‌students about law and ⁣STEAM‌ fields, Jaeger will be honored by the YWCA of ‍Northeastern New⁢ York at ​its 41st annual Empowerment Awards Gala⁢ in March. She will receive the STEAM‌ award.

“I never expected to receive such an⁣ honor,” she said. “It⁣ feels surreal, because to me, this is just part of what I do.”

She described the award as an “incredible honor”.

“I hope to live up⁣ to this honor ⁤in the coming years as I continue ⁢to nurture and expand ​this initiative in the community,” she said. “I believe it’s of utmost importance, and I feel like I’m⁢ just getting started.”

She‌ added that she enjoys‌ these programs as much as the kids do.

When⁢ not‍ working ⁤or mentoring young minds, ‌Jaeger enjoys​ working out‍ at her ⁣favorite gym, Hardwired Fitness in the Stockade. She ⁤is also an avid hiker, having ⁢climbed 34 ‍of the 46 high peaks ‌in the Adirondacks. Jaeger also enjoys spending time at Frog Alley and‌ cherishes moments with her family and friends.

Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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  1. Agree – Great to see a focus on STEAM education for young minds! Excited to see the impact Sarah Jaeger will have at GE. #STEAMeducation


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