top of page

A captivating experience opening doors to a world of possibilities in STEM based careers.

Thinking Big is a half-day, in-person event for high school students. This unique opportunity allows student to dive into the realm of technology and interactive learning outside of the classroom. This transformative experience will provide students with hands-on activities and workshops led by professionals from diverse backgrounds and industries. The event is designed to establish a pipeline of young talent prepared for future careers with leading organizations. Thinking Big falls under our GiSTEMpact Program.

TBWBD Splat.png
TBWBD Splat.png
Untitled design (20).png


TBWBD Splat.png

The overarching purpose of GiSTEM’s Thinking Big Program is to expose youth to STEM-based careers and allow them to engage with industry professionals that are like them. This experience can significantly impact their desire to go into STEM-based careers in adulthood. The ability to pursue these careers tends to lead to more positive economic outcomes, such as higher median earnings and generational wealth in the Greater Richmond region. GiSTEM is on the journey of being the solution to building an equitable future workforce and sustainable pipeline of diverse candidates equipped with technical skills. 

"It's all about exposure and access to certain things. Why can't our kids know about those opportunities now so that they can prepare themselves to be in that talent pipeline?"

- Darrell Booker, Corporate Affairs Specialist at Microsoft 


Speed Networking

Throughout the event, scholars networked with local universities, corporations and nonprofit organizations. This provided the Greater Richmond Region with the opportunity to impact and inspire future employees by forging new relationships with learners early in their career decision.


Lunch and Learn Keynote

Our keynote shares their career paths in STEM, how to break into their field and share about the future of the topics. Scholars from last year were awestruck by the salaries of people working in the tech space as well as the of potential of AI.


Hear what last year's keynote Darrell Booker had to say about the event here.


"It's been really nice to see our high school students, from our comprehensive high schools to our specialty schools, engaging with Microsoft and other companies and learning more about what is happening currently in STEM and how they can use that in their future endeavors."

- Cassandra Bell, Director of RPS Curriculum & Instruction (RPS Partnerships) 

cassandra bell.png

Interactive Workshops

The workshops feature hands-on learning and development. The scholars have the opportunity to participate in real-world applications to see themselves in future career opportunities. What better way to learn about opportunities in Richmond than engaging with industry experts that are local?


 Exhibit and Attractions

Scholars are immersed  in the wonders of technology and innovation with the interactive exhibits and captivating attractions.


Special Giveaways

Scholars have the opportunity to win special giveaways from our partners which adds another level of excitement to this impactful day! 


Thinking Big with Big Data: Manufacturing

TBWBD Splat.png

In 2023, the Richmond-Peterburg region was awarded an Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Tech Hub designation by the Federal Economic Development Administration. In an effort to accelerate growth and innovation of the industry in the United States, the Tech Hub seeks to re-shore safe and affordable medicines through novel manufacturing technologies to ensure supply chain sustainability and meet regulatory requirements.


It is estimated that 5,500 biopharmaceutical jobs will be generated over the next 10 years. Due to Richmond and Petersburg’s unique position in the mid-Atlantic region along the East Coast, many manufacturing companies see the benefit of establishing their operations here. It is imperative that we expose and adequately prepare our scholars locally to be in position to access these job opportunities.

Untitled design (19).png

Focus: To expose scholars to the technological advancements that are happening within the realm of manufacturing and opportunities that they will have access to in the future!


Audience: Richmond Public Schools (RPS) & Petersburg City Public Schools (PCPS) high school students*

Number of students: 300

Event Date: Monday, October 07, 2024

Event Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Event Location: Dewey Gottwald Center, 2301 West Leigh Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220

*Students are selected by RPS and PCPS.

TBWBD Splat.png

"Well, I received an e-mail in July from requesting sponsorship for this event, and when I saw the

e-mail, I immediately responded, kind of got excited on the inside. I think I sent three or four emails with, yes, we want to be a part of it and yes, we want to be a sponsor. And it was amazing!"

- Nichole Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at Altum Solutions 


Interested in Sponsoring?

Ask us about our sponsorship tiers at! We will follow up with the sponsorship package. 

Interested in Volunteering?

Sign up here! We will contact you closer to the date of the event!

Want to learn more about the event?

 Email LaToya Mayfield at

Thinking Big 2023 Sponsors

TBWBD Logos.png
bottom of page