STEM Shadow Day

2019 San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board Shadow Day

MESA's STEM Shadow Day will be in-person on the Thursday before the Thanksgiving holiday:  Thursday, November 16, 2023

Through the free annual STEM Shadow Day event, undergraduate students from San Diego State University, San Diego City College, Southwestern College, and college prep students from San Diego and Imperial Valley counties will have a unique experience to witness the “real world” of work in an engineering or scientific environment.

Industry’s involvement will provide a great opportunity for our up and coming students to “test the waters” in a field of their interest and see first-hand how classroom skills relate to the workplace.  What better way to do that, than observe and work with a professional in action! 

Employers can make a positive impact on the lives of students, our future engineers and scientists, and students can picture themselves in these positions in the near future while creating attainable goals to get there. 

For questions about STEM Shadow Day, please contact Eric Pamintuan ([email protected])

2023 STEM Shadow Day Timeline

  • August:  Industry registration opens.
  • Sunday, September 17:  Industry registration closes.
  • Monday, September 25 (delayed to Thursday, September 28):  Student registration opens.
  • Sunday, October 15:  Student registration closes.
  • October 16-24:  Student matches are made/collection of documentation.
    • Revised to October 30.
  • October 25-31:  Student matches are sent to industry.
    • Revised to October 31.
  • November 1-9:  Student preparation meetings:
    • SDSU students:
      • Wednesday, November 1:  2:00-2:50 pm, HH 146
      • Wednesday, November 1:  3:00-3:50 pm, HH 146
      • Friday, November 3:  10:00-10:50 am, Zoom
      • Friday, November 3:  12:00-12:50 pm, Zoom
      • Friday, November 3:  2:00-2:50 pm, Zoom
      • Friday, November 3:  4:00-4:50 pm, Zoom
    • San Diego City College students:
      • Thursday, November 2:  2:00-3:00 pm, Zoom
    • Southwestern College students:
      • Thursday, November 2:  11:45-12:30 pm, Zoom
    • High school students:  Will be notified by MESA staff/teacher.
  • Friday, November 10:  Veteran's Day holiday.
  • Thursday, November 16:  STEM Shadow Day!
  • Thursday, November 23:  Thanksgiving holiday.


Sample Agenda

2nd Floor Conference Room Titan

  • 9:30-10:00 am Welcome and introduction to company
  • 10:00-10:30 am HR (internship, entry level, special programs, growth opportunities)
  • 10:30-11:30 am Tour of facility, worksite/projects review
  • 11:30-12:30 pm Roundtable/Q&A lunch with mentors, recent grads, interns, etc.
  • 12:30-1:30 pm Hands-on activities, alternate departments
  • 1:30-2:00 Closing/picture for PR

Breaks worked in between as applicable.  Industry hosts have flexibility to structure their agenda and timing to best match their working environment and student demographics.

Typical start times have been ~8:00-10:00 am, with end times from ~2:00-4:00 pm.

Photo Galleries

  • 2022 photo gallery
  • 2021 photo gallery
  • 2020 photo gallery
  • 2019 photo gallery
  • 2018 photo gallery
  • 2017 photo gallery
  • 2016 photo gallery
  • 2015 photo gallery

Photo galleries are hosted through Google Photos. 

Photo albums prior to 2015 can be found on the San Diego MESA Alliance Facebook page.

News Releases

Recaps of MESA STEM Shadow Day can also be found on San Diego MESA Alliance Industry Advisory Board December meeting minutes, December meeting presentations, and on the STEM Shadow Day archives on the San Diego MESA Alliance website.


Information for students (2023)

Student eligibility:  Students recruited to participate include the San Diego MESA Alliance campuses of:  San Diego City College, Southwestern College, San Diego State University, and various middle and high schools in the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions.  Certain companies may have additional eligibility requirements.

Preparation meeting:  Students will be required to attend an in-person or virtual preparation meeting prior to STEM Shadow Day.  Topics include professional etiquette, required media releases, other documentation, and event expectations.

Registration:  Registration will open for students once industry participants have been confirmed.  Before registering, please:  1)  Ensure you have your entire Thursday, November 16, 2023 date cleared to accommodate travel, check-in, the event, and return.  This means any committments such as work, class, etc.  2)  Review the participating companies to get an idea of who they are and what they do, so that you can rank them accordingly within your registration.  Fully completed registrations will then be reviewed to match with participation companies based on major/interests, meeting company eligibility requirements, and potential carpool assignments.  Priority is given to MESA program students.

Carpool:  Carpooling is a vital component of STEM Shadow Day as we cannot host as many students as we do without it.  Check-in and carpool arrangements will be assigned based on a variety of factors, such as students' starting location, nearest campus, home campus, and company destination.

Student documents

  1. STEM Shadow Day Student Recruitment Flyer 2023:  (.PDF) (.JPG)
  2. Media release forms and liability forms will be e-mailed and e-signed through Adobe EchoSign

Student registration options:

Register to partcipate in STEM Shadow Day!  Students, select the online registration Google Form link below based on your school campus.  Registration will open in late September.  Deadline to register is Sunday, October 15, 2023:

San Diego State University students

San Diego City College students

Southwestern College students

High school students

2023 Industry participants

Information for industry

Student eligibility:  Students recruited to participate include the San Diego MESA Alliance campuses of:  San Diego City College, Southwestern College, San Diego State University, and various middle and high schools in the San Diego and Imperial Valley regions.

Students that register will be matched by the MESA STEM Shadow Day Coordinator based on major/interests, meeting company eligibility requirements, and carpool logistics.

Requested information:  The registration form will cover hosting questions, desired student demographics, any eligibility restrictions, documentation requirements, and other logistics.  Please note some personal information is protected by the FERPA Act and cannot be disclosed by the STEM Shadow Day Coordinator unless needed for security clearance.

Liability agreements:  Students are provided with insurance coverage by their respective campuses or school districts.  College students are required to sign a liability release, which covers their respective schools and MESA programs.  High school students under the age of 18 have their parents sign permission slips authorizing their school to release students for participation in STEM Shadow Day.  The registration form will cover teacher or staff chaperone inquiries.  Industry hosts may require liability releases to be signed as well.  It is preferred to have students sign industry host release forms prior to STEM Shadow Day, but understand that in some cases, must be signed at the industry host location during the morning check-in of STEM Shadow Day.

Industry documents

  1. Sample form:  Media release form
  2. Sample form:  Liability waiver form
  3. STEM Shadow Day Industry Recruitment Flyer 2023:  (.PDF) (.JPG)

Industry registration options

Sorry, the deadline for companies to register was Sunday, September 17, 2023.