STEM Premier Spotlight: Wisconsin

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,000+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering

 For this month’s STEM Premier Spotlight, we’re heading North for a closer look at the state of Wisconsin. Home of the University of Wisconsin, considered one of the top public university in the nation, the Badger State’s STEM Premier’s student base is a diverse and accomplished group of students. In fact, one of every ten STEM Premier student users in Wisconsin is a National Honor Society member!

 Unsurprisingly, Wisconsin’s largest concentration of STEM Premier students is located in the state capital of Milwaukee and its suburbs. Other notable areas of student presence are found in Madison, Green Bay, and the outskirts of Minneapolis-St.Paul on Wisconsin’s side of the border.

 The top occupational interests of Wisconsin’s students include mechanical engineering, biological science, biomedical engineering, pediatrics, and aeronautical engineering.

 ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Wisconsin has shown a slight decrease in overall STEM interest among the state’s students over the past year. This decrease seems to be caused by a shift of interest areas. Interest in the medical sciences has lessened by 5% over the past five years and - at 38% - lags behind the national average of 41%. However, the opposite holds true for interest in the areas of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Student interest in Wisconsin outpaces the national average in each of these three areas.

 Learn more about STEM in Illinois by checking out ACT's full report.

New College Spotlight: The Cooper Union

New York City is home to nearly one hundred universities and colleges spread throughout the vast metropolitan area. Some of them - like NYU and Columbia - you can probably name off the top of your head. However, the island of Manhattan is home to a bevy of exceptional schools that may not necessarily be household names outside of the Big Apple.

We’ve recently partnered with one such school, The Cooper Union, to help them sort through the city's and region’s college-bound students and personally connect with those whose academic aspirations match The Cooper Union’s mission.

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art was founded in the mid-1850’s by industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper. Particularly known for its architecture, art, and engineering programs, Cooper Union envisions itself as an institution dedicated to preparing students to make enlightened contributions to society. True to this mission, the college awards every admitted student with a scholarship.

STEM Premier is excited to be working with such an esteemed institution. It is consistently recognized for its academic programs, and it was recently named #1 among Regional Colleges North by U.S. News And World Report. We recently caught up with Abby Davis, Assistant Director of Admissions at Cooper Union, who told us a bit more about the college and how they intend to utilize STEM Premier.

Tell us a little bit about The Cooper Union and its mission
Cooper Union was founded in 1859 with the radical notion that education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of race, religion, or gender, so that they could improve their employment opportunities.

What does The Cooper Union look for in prospective students?
Students need to know that they want to study one of the three majors we offer - architecture, visual arts, or engineering. Important traits include time management ability, maturity, and independence.

What is the student experience like on campus?
Students at Cooper Union are driven, focused, and passionate. With an enrollment of fewer than 1000 students, students get to know their classmates well and also get to work one on one with faculty members. It is an intimate experience in the heart of downtown Manhattan.

How will STEM Premier change the way The Cooper Union recruits?
STEM Premier can help us reach well-qualified students who live in places where Cooper Union is less well known.

There are a plethora of colleges, schools, and universities in Manhattan. How will STEM Premier help The Cooper Union stand out from the rest?
The personalized connection STEM Premier provides throughout the recruitment process mirrors the type of educational environment we foster at Cooper.

STEM Premier Connections: How Webb Institute is Finding the Perfect Fit

Last month, we put the spotlight on Alex Koziol, a high school senior from Wallingford, PA and a STEM Premier student user. Despite receiving acceptance letters from prestigious institutions like Carnegie Mellon and the United States Coast Guard Academy, Alex decided to commit to another school; a school he had never even heard of when he began his college search. He chose Webb Institute, a private undergraduate college located in Glen Cove, NY.

Webb Institute is solely dedicated to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. So it goes without saying that their pool of potential students is much smaller than the typical college or university. That means they have to dig deeper and recruit smarter in order to find their next class of all-stars, all the while competing against schools which have much more name-recognition.

So why did Alex choose Webb Institute? Lauren Carballo, Director of Admissions and Student Affairs, explains that "through STEM Premier, we had the opportunity to send personalized messages to students who we believed could be great fits for Webb Institute.”

By utilizing STEM Premier, Webb was able to hone in on prospective students - including Alex - who matched the type of matriculate they were looking for. Once they found them, they were able to recruit and communicate with them in such a way that made other colleges seem impersonal.

“One student in particular caught our attention,” Lauren continues, “who we thought would be a great addition to our community.”

That student was Alex.

“I actually first noticed Webb because of a message from them on STEM Premier,” says Alex. “Its reference to my activities rather than simple academic talent piqued my interest.”

That simple message was powerful enough to drastically alter Alex’s college plans.

“He responded to our message, set up a visit and fell in love with Webb,” says Lauren. “We're so excited that Alex will be part of the Class of 2021!"  

Alex couldn’t be happier with his unexpected change of plans. “I was fortunate to have the choice between some amazing schools,” he says, “but I chose Webb because it fit my interests and personality the most closely...I didn't start out obsessed with ships, but in the month since my decision, I sure have gotten there!”

STEM Premier Spotlight: Tashiba Pearson

Last, month, we began a series of blog posts in order to recognize some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

In June, we heard from Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent of the Aiken County Public School District, who gave us his take on STEM Premier from an administrator’s point-of-view. This month, we want to shine the spotlight on someone who works directly with students to help them develop their professional plans and goals.

Tashiba Pearson is a passionate and dedicated educator, and a big fan of STEM Premier. Let’s see what she has to say about implementing STEM Premier in her school.

                                    Tashiba Pearson                        Career Development Facilitator                      York Comprehensive High School                                 York, South Carolina

                                    Tashiba Pearson

                       Career Development Facilitator

                     York Comprehensive High School

                                York, South Carolina

Tell us about your role with the school or district that you are involved with.
As the Career Development Facilitator (CDF), it is my role to prepare students for the workforce. I do this through career assessments, resume and cover letter writing, exposing students to non-traditional careers, and implementing career events and programming.

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I decided to get into education because I wanted to help students prepare for their future. My current role as a CDF allows me to work directly with students on job coaching and preparing them for the workforce.

What is your favorite thing about education?
My favorite thing about education is that it gives me an opportunity to partner with students and help them achieve their goals. I recognize that I don’t necessarily know what is best for any individual student. Success is when a student allows me to work as a team with them to reach their goals.

Tell us about your school!
York Comprehensive High School (YCHS) is an amazing school located in York, SC, which is a picturesque upcountry town in one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Located near both Charlotte NC and Rock Hill SC, the benefits of small town life mingle with the opportunities that larger cities provide. We have over 1600 students at our school. Students at YCHS are fortunate in that our technology center, Floyd D. Johnson, is housed in the same building.  Students at YCHS are able to take Advanced Placement, Honors Courses and Dual Credit courses.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
STEM Premier came to YCHS in March 2017 to roll out their platform in our school. Since that time, I have been contacted by businesses who are using STEM Premier to recruit students for positions with immediate openings. STEM Premier has given students a platform that allows them to connect with local employers and colleges.

Any neat stories so far?                                                                                                  I had a student come to my office and show me his STEM Premier app on his phone. He was very excited to show me that his profile had been viewed by a local company. The next day this student informed me that his profile was now being followed by this company. The student is a senior who will be graduating in May and his next step is to enter the workforce. STEM Premier allowed this student to directly connect with a potential employer and now he is one step closer to securing a career before graduating high school.

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
At YCHS we implemented STEM over a two-day period. We pre-assigned students to computer labs and facilitated rotating students in and out of the lab. STEM Premier staff led the roll-out and helped students to create profiles. We printed transcripts and gave them to students so they would have accurate information to enter into their profile.

My suggestion to other schools would be to “organize, organize, organize.” Rollout went smoothly at YCHS because we pre-assigned students to labs, we planned for how long students would be in the lab. We made a spreadsheet outlining which lab students were assigned to. We also had administration standing in the halls helping to direct students to computer labs.

What is your favorite part of the system?
My favorite part of the system is the Red Kite area. I love how accessible it makes scholarships. I often hear students say “I didn’t apply because I didn’t know about that scholarship” or “I wasn’t sure if I qualified”. This area eliminates those problems because it pre-populates scholarships that the student is qualified for.

What has your experience been with the STEM Premier team?
The STEM Premier staff who came to YCHS and helped with the rollout of STEM Premier were absolutely AMAZING. They were fun and energetic and the students responded well to them. It was evident that they were not trying to “sell” us on a product or system. They were passionate about STEM Premier and the ways it could benefit YCHS students. Prior to implementiation, they were all very helpful and were always available to answer any questions we had. I have seen their staff in the community at different events and they are like family now. I can always call on anyone on their team and get an immediate response.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
STEM Premier will help YCHS students display their talents and academic success on a platform that will lead to job offers and connections with colleges and schools. STEM Premier will help students graduate with job offers in hand.

STEM Premier Top 100 Student Honored at HOSA International Leadership Conference

Our friends at HOSA-Future Health Professionals recently held their HOSA International Leadership Conference last month. The Orlando, Florida event marked a momentous and successful year for HOSA as their membership grew to 218,000 individuals!

Perhaps more importantly, the conference also provided an opportunity for HOSA to award $96,000 in scholarship support to dozens of deserving students from across the country. These recipients will become our nation’s next generation of doctors, nurses, technicians, and scientists. HOSA members apply for the National HOSA Scholarships through STEM Premier. This means that every applicant and recipient is represented on STEM Premier's platform.  

Although all of the recipients are doubtlessly commendable, we would like to throw a special shout-out to Sydney Bertram from Columbia, South Carolina. Sydney was honored by HOSA with a $1,000 scholarship sponsored by STEM Premier. 

As a two-time STEM Premier Top 100 student, Sydney has been in our spotlight before.  However, her further accomplishments only reinforce our belief that she will one day make her mark on the field of healthcare. She recently committed to attend Clemson University and was also accepted by the University of Virginia and UNC-Chapel Hill. We wish her the best of luck as a Tiger! Congratulations, Sydney!

STEM Premier Announces Partnership with Penn College

To be successful, you have to work with the best. That’s why we are excited to announce our newest partnership. Pennsylvania College of Technology, in collaboration with UGI Utilities Inc., will be using the STEM Premier platform to enhance their STEM recruitment and job placement efforts.

 Pennsylvania College of Technology - also known as Penn College - is a public institution located in Williamsport, PA providing comprehensive, hands-on technical education at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels. After establishing a strong national reputation for workforce development, it became an affiliate institution of Penn State University in 1989. The College currently boasts an enrollment of 5,500 students and a 95% graduate placement rate.

 What makes Penn College a national leader in applied technology education is the commitment to their core values: an emphasis on hands-on education, a student-centered environment, strong business and industry partnerships, and a diverse community built on respect. STEM Premier plans to contribute to these values.   

 “The STEM Premier partnership will be a tremendous asset for both prospective and current students and serve as a valuable tool for employers recruiting our students,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “As a national leader in applied technology education, we are acutely aware that the workforce needs an influx of STEM talent. Partnering with STEM Premier will help us identify and nurture that talent.”

 “STEM Premier is honored to help foster this partnership between two premier institutions like Pennsylvania College of Technology and UGI,” says STEM Premier Co-Founder John Welch, “to assist students in connecting with employers to not only find a job, but more importantly a career!”

STEM Premier Connections: How Cummins Found Cody

We’re about connecting students, schools, and businesses in powerful ways that enhance the success of everyone involved. It’s what we do.

We also like to highlight these stories so that others can see the power of these connections, and catch a glimpse of what STEM Premier can do for them.

This week, we want to tell you the story of Cody Corneglio from Peru, Illinois, and how STEM Premier inspired him to dramatically change his future plans and find a new “family.”

Cody’s STEM Premier story began shortly after completing the ACT Test. He received an email from ACT inviting him to create a free STEM Premier account so that he could share his test scores - along with his other accomplishments - with hundreds of businesses, schools, and organizations who may be looking for someone just like him.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Cummins Turbo Technologies, a STEM Premier client, was interested in identifying and recruiting talented students for their nation-wide apprenticeship program. With STEM Premier, Cummins was able to identify the right fit for their program and message candidates whose interests and skills matched up with the opportunity. Cody was among them. 

Although Cody had heard of Cummins, he had no idea they had a local presence or about this program, which would provide participants with full-time employment, benefits, and financial assistance towards a college degree.

Like most students his age, Cody already had plans to attend college immediately after graduating from high school. However, after he received a direct message from Cummins inquiring whether he’d be interested in their program, he immediately jumped at the opportunity.

Now, he is enjoying working with Cummins, especially the career flexibility and encouragement they provide for their employees. “They are also like a big family,” Cody explains, “and everyone supports each other.”

In fact, he plans to stay at Cummins for the long haul, hoping to one day be in a management position with the organization. 

“I am truly grateful that STEM Premier made the opportunity I have possible,” he says.

Read more about Cody in his own words below.

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I really enjoy jigsaw puzzles. I live a fast-paced life and they give me an opportunity to relax.

For fun I like to...work with my hands. I will work on anything, but my passion is cars. I am currently in the middle of doing a frame off restoration on my truck and building a motor for it.

If I could meet anyone in the world it would be...Paul Walker. He was the inspiration for my interest in cars, and he was a great person all around. I was devastated that he was taken from us so soon.

The best teacher I ever had was...my high school physics teacher Mr. Fess. He always had good advice and valuable opinions to offer, and would support anything I wanted to do.

The last app I downloaded was...the Realtor.com app because I like to see what is available in my area and get ideas for the kind of place I am going to look for when I move.

In ten years I see myself...working at Cummins, possibly in a management position.

My greatest dream is to...own a lot of property with a small lake that I could enjoy with my family.

The thing I like the most about STEM Premier is...it gives students the chance to get their name out there and find opportunities they would not know about otherwise.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Ujwala Pamidimukkala

It’s always a pleasure keeping up with our STEM Premier student users. The best part is that there are always success stories to highlight.

 Our latest spotlight is on Ujwala Pamidimukkala, a senior at Columbus North High School in Indiana. Ujwala  - one of our 2017 STEM Premier Top 100 -  was recently named as one of the winners of Indiana’s inaugural Governor's STEM Team award.

 As one of four winners from over one hundred applications, Ujwala’s award represents the “Science” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And deservedly so. She is highly involved with HOSA - Future Health Professionals, and she placed first in both the Medical Math and Pharmacy Tech categories at Indiana’s HOSA state competition.

 Additionally, Ujwala is an AP Scholar with Distinction, President of her school’s Spanish Club, and a member of her high school tennis team. She has already committed to Vanderbilt, where she plans to major in molecular biology and chemistry.

 We caught with Ujwala to hear a little bit more about her in her own words. Here’s what she had to say!

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I follow more golden retrievers than people on Instagram

For fun, I like to….cook all sorts of food from around the world, but I especially love to make desserts.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…Joe Biden because we have a mutual love of ice cream and Ray Ban sunglasses.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….Mr. Dale Nowlin because he's an amazing math teacher and friend

The last app I downloaded on my phone was…Netflix (I LOVE to watch Friends!)

After high school, my next step is...studying molecular biology and chemistry on the pre-med track at Vanderbilt University.

In ten years, I see myself….going through residency and other training to become a cardiovascular surgeon.

My greatest dream is...to positively touch as many lives as I can through a career in cardiovascular surgery.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...it is a great place to display all of my credentials and to connect with amazing opportunities.

 Thanks Ujwala! We wish you the best of luck as you pursue your dreams at Vanderbilt!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Dr. A. Sean Alford

When it comes to education, STEM Premier understands the importance of putting students first. And sometimes, putting students first requires educators to take calculated risks, such as implementing new curricula, standards, or technology in the classroom. The best teachers and administrators understand that progressive thinking and planning for the future is just as important in education as it is in business.

In this series of blog posts, we want to take some time to recognize some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

Dr. A. Sean Alford is the subject of our first spotlight. The Superintendent of Aiken County Public School District in South Carolina, Dr. Alford was one of STEM Premier’s earliest proponents. He took some time away from his hectic schedule to engage in some Q&A with us.

See what an experienced and passionate educator has to say about how STEM Premier has enhanced his school district.  

 

Dr. Sean Alford
Superintendent
Aiken County Public School District
Aiken, South Carolina

What is your role with the Aiken County Public School District (APCSD)?
Superintendent responsible for organizational effectiveness and efficiency.

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I had great mentors in my lifetime, many were teachers or coaches. I wanted to do for others what had been done for me.

What is your favorite thing about education?
The overwhelming impact that an individual can have on their own lives if they apply themselves through the educational process.

Tell us a little bit more about ACPSD!
Aiken County is a progressive school district that focuses on solution-driven processes. We want graduates to possess a set of employable skills when they leave our schools.

How is STEM Premier helping your district?
STEM Premier helps to reinforce many concepts that we strive to teach and model in our schools; moreover, it facilitates student's understanding of multiple pathways to postsecondary success.

How did you implement STEM Premier? Do you have any suggestions for other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
Measured or strategic implementations always work best. Our process was designed to connect our schools to our post-secondary institutions before we began a deliberate effort to engage the business community.

What is your favorite part of the system?
I believe students enjoy the user-friendly platform.

What has your experience been with the STEM Premier team?
The STEM Premier team members are committed professionals.  Their passion for their work is evident.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on the Aiken County Public School District?
As we strive to make stronger connections and build new bridges with business and industry, I believe that STEM Premier will allow job creators to assess student's skills and abilities in a meaningful way which should make the hiring and training processes much more fluid.

Thank you Dr. Alford for taking time away from your passion to spread the word about STEM Premier. We wish the best of luck to you and your students, teachers, and staff!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Alexander Koziol

alex.jpg

We always like to spotlight our STEM Premier talent - as well as our college and industry partners - and this week is a two-for-one!

Alexander Koziol is a high school senior from Wallingford, PA, and a 2017 STEM Premier Top 100 student. His impressive list of activities and accolades includes being a part of the National Honor Society, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and FIRST Robotics. He is also a member of his school’s varsity swim team and MVP of the ultimate frisbee team!

Alex recently committed to Webb Institute, a private undergraduate college located in Glen Cove, NY solely dedicated to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Webb is also one of our colleges who uses STEM Premier to discover their next incoming class!

Alex chose Webb over several top-flight universities, and credits STEM Premier for helping him consider a path he never even knew existed.

We took some time to interview Alex, and learn more about him and his decision.

What do you plan on studying in college, and what would be your ideal career path after college?

I'll be studying Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, for which defense, yachts, shipping, and cruise liners are the big industries. I have no preference yet, but yachts seem intriguing. I'm hoping to continue my interest in French language and culture through graduate study and then future work in Europe!

From your profile, it looks like your had your choice of top colleges like Carnegie Mellon and the US Coast Guard Academy - and have committed to Webb Institute. Tell us more about how you first became aware of Webb Institute and why you ultimately chose that school.

I was fortunate to have the choice between some amazing schools, but I chose Webb because it fit my interests and personality the most closely. I appreciate the financial aspect, but the student environment, campus, and professors really set it apart. I didn't start out obsessed with ships, but in the month since my decision, I sure have gotten there!

Do you think you would have heard about Webb Institute without STEM Premier?

I likely wouldn't have. I actually first noticed Webb because of a message from them on STEM Premier. Its reference to my activities rather than simple academic talent piqued my interest. I'm very, very glad it worked out!

Here’s a few other things Alex dished with us about!

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I'm a Clevelander at heart! I grew up there before moving to Pittsburgh and now Philadelphia. Hoping the Cavs finish these finals well . . .

For fun, I like to….Go running. My family's new German Shorthaired Pointer loves to go for runs outside, and it's motivated me to endurance train now that ultimate season is over. I usually just lift in the off-season.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…Herbert Marcuse.
I'd like to speak with about his brand of Marxism, as I'm particularly interested in his brand of intellectual struggle for justice, rather than revolutionary. His position on the paradox of intolerance is also interesting!

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….I can't pick out any of my high school teachers, because they were all fantastic. If I had to say, I'd elect my 5th grade teacher at Menlo Park Academy, Mr. Dolan. As a very unique math and English teacher, he developed my deep interest in problem solving that still influences me today.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was….A Dark Room. It's an odd text-only RPG with a very cool twist that's slowly hinted towards throughout the game.

In ten years, I see myself…Hopefully working at a design or research firm in a big city! I won't mind living in an apartment; it's less to keep track of so I can focus on what really matters when I'm off work: family and friends.

My greatest dream is...I want to retire from industry someday and teach the next generation of students. It could be STEM or the humanities; I just love helping people learn.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is....The ability to create a profile for colleges to see and reach out to students with is, for me, the most important part of STEM Premier. If it weren't for this, I wouldn't be where I am now.


Thank you Alex for taking some time with us. We wish you the best of luck as you pursue your future at Webb Institute!

How STEM Premier Works with Secondary Schools

STEM Premier serves as the connection between students, educational institutions, and employers - but you may have a question: How does STEM Premier bring students into the fold?

This is our favorite part of STEM Premier, because it means meeting students where they are - at their schools. We partner with secondary schools, school districts, and colleges across the country to bring their students onto the platform. 

Implementing STEM Premier not only allows students to begin building their digital portfolio, but also enables schools to follow their own students, view their profiles, get real-time data, and more. A school account on STEM Premier provides a virtual window into a school's student population - as well as a direct connection with current students and alumni.

Other ways a school account can help:

  • Get real-time data from their students based on their profile information
  • Add student opportunities such as scholarships and events
  • Create digital badges
  • View their student's profiles
  • Direct message/group message students
  • Follow alumni/communicate with alumni after they graduate

We also provide schools with on-site implementation and training sessions for staff and students. It goes without saying that this is a fun experience. Check out these pics of our team in action!

hs image 4.png

Naturally, our work brings us face-to-face with many passionate and influential teachers, counselors, and administrators. It’s one of the best parts of our job.

Since partnering with schools and districts across the country, we've been honored to collaborate with several insightful and forward-thinking educators, and we will be highlighting these individuals in a series of future blog posts. All of them have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools and districts, and they have been creative catalysts for us as they’ve formulated innovative ways to bring our platform to their students. To be sure, they’ve definitely taught us more than we’ve taught them!

They will explain in their own words why implementing STEM Premier was a positive game-changer for their schools.

STEM Premier Powers Boeing's Inaugural STEM Signing Day

Signing Day. No off-season affair is more important for collegiate athletic programs and their fans than the day when their future stars sign their commitments.

The pens are ready. Ball caps sit patiently, ready to be donned by bright-eyed prospects with grand dreams.

For South Carolina’s star students, their own day has finally come.

On May 9, the inaugural Boeing STEM Signing Day took place on the South Carolina State House grounds in Columbia. Just like signing days for athletes, over fifty high school seniors from across the state inked their letters of intent to pursue a career in STEM. Inside the Edgar Brown Building, elected officials as well as business and community leaders looked on like proud coaches and parents, envisioning incredible futures for these students. All of these students will be attending a 2-year or 4-year college to continue their STEM education.

For us at STEM Premier, it was a vision made reality. As part of an amazing collaborative partnership, Boeing utilized the STEM Premier platform to identify and personally invite star students to participate. From over 400 applications - all managed within STEM Premier - seventy were chosen to attend and make their mark on the future of STEM.

“Boeing is honored to help lift up and recognize the achievements and next steps of some of our state’s brightest minds – students who will eventually lead the way as we advance innovation and technology in the 21st century,” said Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager.

The inaugural Boeing STEM Signing Day marks the beginning of a tradition which we hope students, industry leaders, and officials look forward to each year. We wish the best of luck to each of the participants, and are proud to call them STEM Premier students.

s day 4.jpg

STEM Premier Spotlight: Hezekiah Branch

One of the best things about having so many amazing student users on our STEM Premier platform is that there is never a shortage of great stories to tell!

Our most recent spotlight is on Hezekiah Branch, a senior at Ridge View High School in Columbia, South Carolina. Hezekiah was recently named a semi-finalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program; one of the most competitive scholarship programs in the country.

Less than 200 U.S. Presidential Scholars across the nation are chosen each year, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. Chosen scholars will be invited to Washington, DC in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at the White House.

Hezekiah is extremely passionate about biomedical science and has been involved with a plethora of related organizations including HOSA and Project Lead The Way. He is also one of our fantastic STEM Premier Student Ambassadors, helping us spread the story of STEM Premier!

We caught up with him recently for a little Q&A. Here’s a little bit about Hezekiah in his own words.

1.  Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I am originally from Boston, MA and my family is Trinidadian.

2. For fun, I like to...learn programming languages like Swift and Java as well as play sports.

3.  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men is one of my favorite pieces of literature of all time.

4. The best teacher I've ever had was...my mother who taught me how to read when I was around three or four years old.

5. The last app I downloaded on my phone was...FaceApp.

6. After high school, my next step is to...study Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science at Tufts University.

7. In ten years, I see myself...having graduated from college and working as a medical researcher.

8. My greatest dream is to...open up an international non-profit organization for students to complete research in biomedical sciences.

9. What I like about STEM Premier most is...the facility of organizing my information as well as the design of the website. I also appreciate how other people can view my profile and gain insight into my personality and accomplishments.

Thanks Hezekiah! We wish you the best of luck as the final selections are made this month for the Presidential Scholars Program!

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Protective Services

In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the protective services industry.

Protective services encompass those occupations which ensure the safety and well-being of the community through a variety of preventative, proactive, and reactive actions. The occupations which most readily come to mind in this industry are police officers and firefighters. However, those highly-visible professions are just a small sample of the industry as a whole.

As far as industry growth is concerned, protective services does not seem primed for a large surge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the industry to grow only four percent by 2024, adding about 154,000 new jobs.

Regardless, occupations in this sector represent some of the most vital - and sometimes hazardous - jobs in the country.

To get a better idea of some of the business and finance occupations which STEM Premier students are interested, here is a small sample:

  • Correctional Officers
  • Fire Inspectors
  • Federal Agents
  • Security and Surveillance Personnel
  • Forensic Scientists

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.

Announcing the 2017 STEM Premier Top 100

It is with much pride and excitement that we announce STEM Premier’s 3rd annual Top 100 rankings: The 2017 STEM Premier Top 100!

This year, over 225,000 STEM Premier student users attending over 16,000 high schools from across the country competed for a place in the Top 100, making this accomplishment a testament to the Top 100’s academic and extracurricular endeavors.

This year’s Top 100 features students from 32 different states, with the most highly represented states being Texas (13 students), California (9), and Washington (8). The diversity of academic and extracurricular success of this group is astounding. Top 100 students are comprised of valedictorians, National Merit Scholar Finalists, AP Scholars,Science Olympiad Champions, Girl Scouts & Eagle Scouts, Presidential Scholars, and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) members.

And that’s just getting started.

Other Top 100 students are involved in specialized and highly technical organizations such as FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Google Code-in, JROTC, HOSA - Future Health Professionals, 4-H, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Mu Alpha Theta, and SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers).

How are students chosen for the Top 100? We utilize a unique algorithm which accounts for over 30 different factors from each student’s profile. This process quantifies and synthesizes the profile information and creates a star rating for each individual student. Students considered for the Top 100 are then contacted and verified to ensure accuracy and integrity of the information added to their STEM Premier profile.

While we are proud to announce this year’s Top 100, we would also like to recognize every single one of the nearly quarter-million students on STEM Premier’s platform who are pursuing their educational and professional dreams. We wish all the best of luck as you shoot for the stars!

Click here to view the 2017 STEM Premier Top 100

 

Engineering Success: Society of Manufacturing Engineers and STEM Premier

SME_RGB_BIGR.png

When one of your partner organizations is nearly one hundred years old, you know you’re working with the best in the business. In our case, that partner would be SME.

SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote advanced manufacturing technology and developing a skilled workforce. Providing a forum for sharing resources with members and businesses, SME seeks to arm students, workers, and manufacturers with the knowledge and information necessary to grow and succeed in a rapidly-changing economy.

SME is one of the United States’ most established professionals organizations. It was originally founded in 1932 as the American Society of Tool Engineers (it’s name would later change to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1969). One it’s early landmark achievements was the publication of “The Tool Engineers Handbook” in 1948; 65,000 copies we’re sold within seven years of it’s original publication. Since then, SME has produced its own magazine, established an educational foundation, and expanded its reach to Canada.

SME has also opened its doors to students and younger individuals.

For any student interested in a career in manufacturing or technically-related STEM field, joining SME is a no-brainer. A self-described “one-stop shop” for students, SME membership offers students access to technical information on state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and provides unparalleled networking opportunities

Our special partnership with SME provides a great opportunity for SME and potential SME student members. High school can college students can join STEM Premier, build a digital portfolio showcasing themselves to talent-seekers, and become a student SME member through the STEM Premier platform. 

Once students become an SME member, they are awarded the SME Member Digital Badge which displays on the student's STEM Premier profile - recognizing them as a member of SME. Talent-seekers like SME-trusted colleges and companies can then identify students who are involved in the organization. Talk about a way to separate yourself from the competition! 

As a renewed emphasis on manufacturing takes hold in the U.S., this partnership is pivotal for ensuring that students, schools, and organizations have ways to easily connect with each other.

Perhaps you could call it our own feat of engineering.

STEM Premier Spotlight: North Carolina

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,500+
  • Next Steps: 4-Year College (85%), Career/Technical College (4%), Enter the Workforce (1%), Enter the Military (1%), Other (9%) 
  • Top College Interests: UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, East Carolina University, Duke University, UNC-Charlotte
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Nursing,Computer Science

The Tar Heel State is the next stop in our series of state spotlights! Having recently surpassed 2,500 student members on the STEM Premier platform, North Carolina isn’t just about college basketball anymore!

Among North Carolina’s student users are 275 Project Lead the Way students, 180 National Honor Society members, and 175 members of HOSA - Future Health Professionals.

North Carolina’s student users come from far and wide across the state, from Kitty Hawk (home of the Wright Brother’s own little STEM project…) all the way west to Murphy near the Tennessee border. And while the state’s larger cities, such as Charlotte and Raleigh, boast high concentrations of users, it’s important to note that rural areas have just as much of a footprint in our student database.

The top occupational interests of North Carolina’s students include surgery, nursing, pediatrics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

According to ACT’s Condition of STEM Report, North Carolina’s student interest in the STEM fields has remained steady over the past few years at 50%, but continues to outpace the national average of 48%. The steadiness of student interest can be attributed to a decline of student interest in the medical and science fields, but also a substantial increase in the engineering, mathematics, and computing fields.

Read ACT’s entire Condition of STEM Report for North Carolina

Higher Thinking: How Philosophy Can Improve Professional Skills

“I think, therefore I am.”

This well-known philosophical proverb first appeared in Rene Descartes’ Discourse on the Method in 1637.

However, based on a recent study by the UK’s Education Endowment Foundation, perhaps it could also be accurate to say: “I think, therefore I am a better student and professional.”

There is now data to back up the notion that student engagement in the study of philosophy improves their performance in other vital subjects and bolsters critical professional skills. 

Specifically, the study found that nine and ten-year-olds who participated in a weekly philosophy class over the course of the year displayed significant gains in their math and literacy proficiency compared to their peers who did not partake in the philosophy class. This is despite the fact that the philosophical courses were not primarily designed to improve performance in these subjects, but rather focused on discussions centered around concepts such as justice and knowledge, and featured time for silent reflection.

This comes as no surprise to philosophy advocates, who have long championed its ability to promote “lateral thinking” - the ability to solve problems via indirect and creative approaches - and its apparently positive effects on standardized test scores, such as the GRE and LSAT.

However, perhaps even more important is that teachers also reported student progress in other areas, such as public speaking, listening skills, and self-esteem; skills typically referred to as "soft skills." 

As businesses and organizations compete over a finite pool of STEM-proficient young professionals, there is yet another shortage in the modern workplace which has them concerned; employees with well-developed soft skills. The ability for workers to listen, think critically, and to digest and reformulate ideas is vital for any organization to reach their peak potential. This holds true across the board for any type of employee, whether they be a mechanical engineer or a human resources professional. 

It is important for students and young adults to recognize this gap, so that they can improve and showcase their own abilities. 

STEM Premier offers student users tools to help develop their critical thinking and cognitive skills, such as Lumosity and Khan Academy. These tools are accessible through the STEM Premier Dashboard. 

Students can also highlight their soft skills, for example, by uploading videos to their profile which show off their public speaking skills - an ability very much coveted by all types of employers. 

So as students, businesses, and educators look forward into the future and the advancement of the STEM disciplines, perhaps they should also be looking back into the past as well. Perhaps ancient subjects like philoshpy are just as important for well-rounded professionals. 

Learning from the Pros: Getting Social

When it comes to recruiting, collegiate coaches are constantly on the lookout for anything that can help them gain an edge over rivals and competitors.

With the NCAA keeping a close eye on phone calls, text messaging, and in-person visits, it should come as no surprise that programs across the country have taken to the internet to connect with recruits where they are: social media.

What is interesting about the NCAA’s regulation of social media communication is that, instead of tightening down on it - such as it’s done with texting - it has actually given coaches more freedom on the web. Prior to August 2016, coaches were allowed to private message recruits, but could not “publicize” their recruitment by “liking” or sharing a recruit’s posts. They are now allowed to do so.

Here’s the important part: The NCAA officially explained this rule change as being due to the impossible nature of constantly monitoring thousands of social media profiles. However, many believe it was mostly due in part to the fact that social media is by far the preferred medium of communication of high school athletes nowadays.

What makes STEM Premier a powerful tool is that combines the power of a social media platform and professional networking programs into one package. Organizational users can directly connect with prospective students and employees, providing the genuine sense that their talents are being recognized and pursued. This is a far cry from simply making students aware of an organization's opportunities through traditional methods such as job postings and billboards. 

Why does this matter? Because coaches know that if you want to land a recruit, you have to make them feel comfortable with your school. If one program is sending a recruit letters in the mail, while another is actively communicating with them online - where they post, tweet, like, share, and hashtag with their friends - guess which one has the advantage?

Your organization’s recruiting strategy should be no different. Times are changing, and the schools and businesses which simply rely on the “old-school” methods of college and jobs fairs and snail mail to attract talent are going to fall behind.

With STEM Premier,  not only can schools and businesses showcase their programs and opportunities for free via their STEM Premier profile, they can also directly link their profile from more "social" platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+. 

With nearly a quarter-million students on STEM Premier, organizations can take a page out of Nick Saban’s playbook and build relationships with these students where they are.

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Business and Finance

In recent posts, we shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student members. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the business and finance industry.

While the industry is not expected to grow quite as dramatically as other sectors - healthcare for instance - over the next decade, increased regulation will drive the demand for more accountants, auditors, and other types of financial analysts. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that business and financial occupations will increase by about eight percent by 2024, adding more than 630,000 new jobs.

When it comes to talent for business, many of the nation’s promising young minds are on the STEM Premier platform. Thanks to our incredible partnership with FBLA-PBL (Future Business Leaders of America), student members are offered the FBLA Membership Digital Badge to proudly display on their profiles. FBLA also promotes STEM Premier to its student members as a way to professionally connect with schools and businesses who are looking for young people just like them.

To get a better idea of some of the business and finance occupations which STEM Premier students are interested, here is a small sample:

  • Budget Analysts
  • Cost Estimators
  • Loan Officers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors

Is your school or organization looking for these kinds of students? If so, join STEM Premier today and start connecting.