Imaginations "Rohming" Wild: Homeschooled Robotics Team Heads to World Championship


Rohming Robots runs on passion. And now this motivated group of home-schooled students is taking that passion to the world stage.

Established in 2014 by Head Coach Linda Stewart, Rohming Robots - a Charleston, South Carolina-based robotics team - will be heading to Houston, Texas in April to compete against thousands of like-minded students in the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship.


FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC for short) is a competitive robotics league which pits grade 7-12 students against each other in a head-to-head format. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots. Assisted by coaches and mentors, the teams build their mechanical “athletes” with pieces made of various materials, and use sensors and programs to execute their gameplans. Teams are also required to keep an engineering notebook; a log of the team’s construction process from the first blueprint sketches to the last screw.

What makes Roaming Robots unique is who they are. The team is comprised entirely of homeschooled and virtual students ranging from 8th to 12th grade. The team divides responsibilities based on their interests and skills; a strategy they say keeps the process fun for everyone involved. It’s not just nuts, bolts, and programming which are involved in the process. The team also has roles for important non-technical duties such as community outreach and fundraising.  

“Every year, they want to do a little more,” says Stewart, “go a little farther.”

And go farther they did.

A 4-H project club primarily sponsored by STEM Premier partner SME, Rohming Robots received FTC’s Think Award, honoring the best engineering notebook from among 72 teams. That achievement earned them their spot in the World Championship next month. Their competitive robot - named Tod - was custom-built using machined and 3-D printed parts.

Rohming Robots recently became one of STEM Premier’s newest organizations to join our online community. This will allow its team members to gain access to the same types of opportunities which tend to benefit students from more traditional K-12 backgrounds. We’re excited to know that these students will be able to let their passion and talent shine forth, and find opportunities they may have not otherwise realized.


Stewart is excited for her young team. "I reviewed all the ways that club members can use STEM premier to help them connect with local businesses to better explore their interests, with colleges they are interested in, and with potential internships and employers for their future careers," she says.

"Team members are excited about showcasing their specific talents and interests using their STEM Premier profiles and adding the SME badge to their profiles because of the long history of support our local chapter has given us.”

After all, it’s not just about the mechatronics. The talents of Rohming Robot’s members extend far beyond the robotics wrestling ring, ranging from collaborative teamwork to project management to public speaking. It takes all sorts of skill sets to run a successful team. And these students are making it happen!

STEM Premier wishes the entire Rohming Robots team good luck in Houston!

ACT Releases 2017 Report on The Condition of STEM


This week, our partner ACT released their 2017 edition of The Condition of STEM report.

Using comprehensive data gathered from the U.S. high school graduating class of 2017, ACT compiles and organizes the report in order to analyze the current landscape of student interest and achievement in STEM. The report is designed to assist stakeholders - such as educational organizations and industry-leaders -  to better understand this landscape and drive their own efforts to improve educational and workplace success.

This year’s report highlights several key findings and trends; some encouraging and some worrisome. For example, ACT’s data reveals that the oft-referenced STEM gender gap continues to persist. It also finds that physical geography plays a critical role in STEM achievement; a phenomenon we delved into last month.

However, for each of these areas of concern, ACT features “promising practices” gleaned from states, nonprofits, businesses and other organizations who are committed to making a difference. One such practice featured is the 100kin10  designed to address the critical shortage of STEM teachers in our nation’s schools.

The report concludes by providing several policy recommendations to be considered by government leaders, such as establishing loan-forgiveness programs for STEM educators.

In addition to the overall report, The Condition of STEM is also examined on a state-by-state basis. In fact, these are the same reports which we reference in our state spotlight blog series; New York was our most recent!

As part of our collaboration with ACT in compiling the 2017 Condition of STEM, each state report contains an example of a STEM Premier student user residing there.

This year’s report is yet another example of ACT’s commitment to driving STEM success in the U.S.

STEM Premier Spotlight: New York


Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 5,100+
  • Top College Interests: Cornell University, Stony Brook University, New York University, Columbia University, SUNY at Binghamton
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Bioengineering, Computer Science

Our next state spotlight take us to the Empire State for a closer look at STEM Premier students in New York. Powered by the immense hub of human activity that is New York City, New York possesses the third-largest economy in the U.S., behind only California and Texas. It’s economy is as diverse as it is large, with strong representation in healthcare, education, construction, hospitality, retail services, tourism, banking, and legal services.

New York’s largest population of STEM Premier students is concentrated - of course - in New York City, home to one of STEM Premier's newest collegiate partners - The Cooper Union. Other hubs of students exist in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and Binghamton. However, students can indeed be found in every corner of the state, including as far north as Massena and Plattsburgh.

ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on New York shows that overall STEM interest has grown significantly from 46% of students in 2012 to 50% in 2016. Most states have exhibited only modest increases (or even decreases) during that span. 50% student interest in New York now outpaces the national average of 48%. This rise seems primarily driven by growing student interest in engineering, mathematics, and computer science fields.

STEM Premier’s own data reflects this shift. Among STEM Premier’s New York students, three of the most popular career interests include computer programming, mechanical engineering, and computer science.

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

New Report Identifies Vital Skills for the Future of the Workforce


As the world’s economy continues to evolve, the skills and practices necessary to keep pace are evolving with it. STEM Premier has been there every step of the way offering students, job-seekers, and organizations a new and better way to engage each other. 

What's the evidence?  Recently, the California-based think tank Institute for the Future teamed up with the talent-management software company Cornerstone OnDemand to identify a short list of skills which will be vital for tomorrow’s professionals.

Two specific skills stood out in the joint report. They stood out because, not only are they important for students and young professionals to understand, but also for the schools and businesses who seek to attract them to their organizations and institutions.  

They are also exactly what STEM Premier was designed for. 

Make yourself known

“Brands aren’t for celebrities anymore,” the report notes. Hard copy resumes are making their last stand in a ever-evolving digital environment. Online professional platforms are quickly becoming the new standard. The reasons are obvious. Digital formats are easier to work with and share. They allow for greater flexibility and are much more dynamic. They allow applicants and job seekers the opportunity to uniquely express themselves and show off their talents by uploading videos, attaching documents, and more. These online profiles also allow schools and employers to find exactly the type of candidates they are looking for, and can truly get to know the person they are accepting or hiring. Simply put, everyone wins.

STEM Premier allows everyone - including organizations - to tailor their profile in order to make them stand out. 

Build your tribe

Industries and institutions can change rapidly, but the practice of building and maintaining personal networks will always be critical. Online platforms allow organizations to cut straight through traditional barriers - such as geography - to find and connect with the talent they need. As online platforms become the norm, the barriers which have prevented talented individuals from being noticed will crumble. The end result will be an environment in which the most qualified applicants are found and engaged every day around the globe.

STEM Premier provides a way for organizations and individuals to reach out and connect with each other. Forget jobs and college fairs; take your talent search directly to the prospects you are most interested in!


STEM Premier is proud to be part of the vanguard of this revolution. The future is coming. Is your organization ready?

Connecting America's Rural Students with Higher Education

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As debate intensifies over the future of higher education in the U.S., much of the focus has centered around the issue of racial and ethnic diversity. However, there is substantial constituency of America’s K-12 students who are going largely ignored: students from the country’s rural areas.

A recent NPR piece - based on findings from The Hechinger Report - highlights this glaring issue. It is highlighted by an alarming statistic. Despite the fact that rural students graduate from high school at a greater rate than the national average, they attend college at lower rates than their urban and suburban peers.

There have been many causes attributed to this phenomenon. Mining, farming, and manufacturing jobs which used to be a hallmark of rural economies have either moved away, become automated, or shut down entirely. The result is that there are simply less opportunities in the communities these students grow up in. Paradoxically, instead of seeking out opportunities in larger cities, most rural students find themselves as products of their environment and lose hope that opportunity awaits them. Like all good sons and daughters, they also want to stay close to home. 

Acknowledging this issue "is critical to our future, not just for employment but for civil discourse and kids feeling like they can contribute and achieve and not feeling lost and ignored," says Jeff Hawkins, executive director of the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, a nonprofit group which encourages students in Kentucky’s coal-mining southeast corner to go to college.

As we’ve noted before in a previous blog post, STEM Premier understands this challenge, and is one of our foremost priorities towards achieving educational equality in the U.S. for all students.

STEM Premier provides that crucial “missing link” for colleges to recruit in rural areas. Oftentimes, college recruiters are pressured to maximize their scarce time and resources. As as result, they typically visit more highly-populated areas where they can interact with the highest number of students. Rural students become “landlocked” and isolated from these opportunities. Some of America’s brightest students are going unnoticed.

Using our platform, colleges and universities can eliminate geographic boundaries and engage these rural students in an online ecosystem. Not only does this save educational institutions time and money, but it meets these young digital natives where they are: on their mobile devices which have become ubiquitous regardless of where they reside.  

President Calls for Expansion of Vocational Education in State of the Union Address


President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address on January 30 was laden with bold visions and plans for the country. For proponents and advocates of vocational education, one particular statement stood out during the eighty-minute speech.

“Let's invest in workforce development,” he began, “and let's invest in job training, which we need so badly. Let's open great vocational schools, so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.”

This proclamation was music to the ears of many who believe that too much emphasis has recently been placed on traditional four-year degrees which has left trade and vocational education neglected. Workforce statistics show that gaping holes still persist in filling jobs which require vocational training and trade education.

NPR Education Correspondent Anya Kamenetz - commenting on Trump’s statement - elaborated further on how the U.S. government is currently addressing this pressing issue. She notes that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos supports expanding vocational education, and she recently spoke to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about the range of innovations she would like to see, such as “industry-recognized certifications, two-year degrees, stackable credits, credentials and licenses, advanced degrees, badges, four-year degrees, microdegrees” and “apprenticeships.”

The Senate is also currently holding committee hearings on the re-authorization of the Higher Education Act by which the nation’s student financial aid system operates.

New Research Reveals STEM Workforce Trends


A recently published report by the Pew Research Center has shed light on some intriguing trends in regards to STEM employment and education in the U.S. While some of the findings may be old news or simply confirmation of already widely-accepted beliefs, the research nevertheless provides some interesting data.

Utilizing U.S. Census Bureau data, the report focused primarily on STEM primarily as it relates to gender and ethnic diversity. However, some broads trends are also revealed. Here are just a few of the major conclusions presented by the report.

  1. The STEM workforce continues to grow: From 1990 to 2016, employment in the STEM fields has grown a remarkable 79%, from approximately 9.7 million workers to 17.3 million. While a large fraction of STEM professionals work in the healthcare industry, most of this growth has occurred in the area of computer science. Employment growth in this area was an astronomical 338% between 1990 and 2016. This comes as no suprise to us at STEM Premier, where many of our student users have indicated professional interests in both the healthcare and computer science areas.

  2. Roughly 1 in 3 STEM workers do not possess a bachelor’s degree: Although most people would tend to associate STEM workers with high levels of education, the truth is that many STEM positions are being filled by individuals who possess the necessary skills, despite lacking a four-year degree. In fact, 35% of the STEM workforce lacks a bachelor’s degree. 15% report having an associate degree and 14% report having some college education but no degree.

  3. The representation of women varies by STEM discipline: Females represent roughly 75% of healthcare practitioners and technicians. Of the 9 million workers in the industry, nearly 6.7 million of them are female. However, in other areas, female representation is much smaller. This is most marked in engineering (14%) and computer science (25%) industries.

When it comes to the next generation of talented professionals, STEM Premier is on the front lines. That means we are in a unique position to foresee many of these trends playing out. But it also means that we are able to see new trends developing. For instance, despite the low representation of females in the engineering and computer science fields, many female students on our platform have indicated interest in these career areas.

Want to find out who they are? Create an account and start connecting today!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Nickie Daves

We’ve recently been spotlighting 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.

Nickie Daves is a health science teacher who encourages her students to utilize STEM Premier to help gain access to scholarships and internship opportunities. Let’s check out what she has to say!

                              Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN                         Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center                                   York School District                                   York, South Carolina

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN

                     Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center

                               York School District

                               York, South Carolina

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I am actually a registered nurse, by trade. For Health Science, a healthcare professional is requested to teach the course. Being a nurse involves educating patients on a daily basis. I found that I really enjoyed that portion and knew that I would one day transition into education. I love seeing the light bulb going off and being able to help the learner take charge of the information that they learn. I never thought I would teach students in the secondary field, but I love it very much.

What is your favorite thing about education?
I enjoy working with the next generation of healthcare professionals. I love building the relationships with the students which will continue on in future courses.  

Tell us about your school!
I work for York School District One in the Floyd D. Johnson Technology Center. Our technology center and high school are together within the same building, which decreases many barriers that would exist if the two sections were not comprehensive. A student can leave their English class and then go straight to a building & construction class.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
It’s a wonderful asset offered to the students in the way of scholarship opportunities, internships, and showcasing their accomplishments. All sophomores and juniors are exposed to STEM Premier and create an account. They are encouraged to keep their accounts up-to-date and utilize them to highlight themselves for post-secondary opportunities.

Any neat stories so far?
Students are always so excited to let the staff know that certain schools have viewed their account or that they have been offered internships!

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
I teach courses within the Health Science cluster, which are classified as elective courses. Despite this, I always encourage my students to complete community service projects, continue to build their resumes, and to search constantly for scholarships. Our community has a poverty rate of over 70%, so it is imperative that students have the ability to attend schools once they are accepted. I give numerous assignments for the students to submit proof of scholarships completions to me. Most of the students go through STEM Premier to do so.

What is your favorite part of the system?
The ability to export all of my profile data into a ready-to-use resume.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
I believe its social media-like functionality will keep it relevant with the current generation who will soon be entering the workforce. During my advisory meetings - which include healthcare members within my community - I have recommended that their companies utilize STEM Premier to help reduce the impact of the impending nursing shortage.

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Visual and Performing Arts


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 visual and performing arts industry.

In the modern U.S. economy, much ado is being made about technological skills and STEM proficiency. But it seems like almost nobody is talking about occupations and careers in the arts. According to the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production contributed over $700 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013; a 32.5% increase over 1998. During that same 15-year span, consumer spending on the arts increased annually by 10%. It’s safe to say that society will always appreciate art, music, and entertainment, so this industry will always have occupations requiring new talent. In fact, many of these occupations require proficiency in STEM disciplines (such as math and computer-aided design)!

Here’s just a few examples of the visual and performing arts occupations which have captured the attention of STEM Premier students:

  • Art Directors
  • Choreographers
  • Fashion Designers
  • Illustrators
  • Musicians
  • Photographers

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

A New Year Brings New Possibilities

Yet another year is upon us, and that means new resolutions and new possibilities. As we reflect on 2017, we are encouraged by the many milestones STEM Premier has achieved.

As 2018 begins, the STEM Premier platform is now home to more than 315,000 students across the nation, representing all fifty states.

We have forged new partnerships with highly-respected organizations such as the National Society of High School Scholars, a prestigious international academic organization, and Precision Exams, a visionary testing partner dedicated to promoting industry-aligned CTE exams.

We have taken our existing partnerships to the next level, such a our collaboration with Future Business Leaders of America, who now has official FBLA digital badges available on STEM Premier. We’ve also continued our great relationship with ACT, who has made STEM Premier the only app where talent can request and earn their ACT WorkKeys Digital Badge, an accolade which indicates that the recipient has earned their National Career Readiness Certificate.

Many fantastic colleges such as Georgia Southern University, Pittsburg State University, and Charleston Southern University have joined the STEM Premier platform to find and recruit talent to their respective institutions.

We’ve connected students to great companies like Cummins Turbo Diesel, BMW, Boeing, and many others. In fact, as of 2018, over 270 colleges and companies have joined STEM Premier!

We know 2018 holds much more in store for everyone involved with STEM Premier, and we wish our students and partners a prosperous and successful new year!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Arizona


Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 3,000+
  • Top College Interests: Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon University, Stanford University
  • Top Intended Majors: Nursing, Pre-Med, Computer Science

 Our next state spotlight takes us across the Grand Canyon for a closer look at the state of Arizona. Arizona is well-known for its tourism industry, but the state’s economy is much broader. Its utility, transportation, financial, and healthcare industries are also major components of the state’s economic foundation.  Arizona is also home to one of the nation’s top STEM Schools: BASIS Tucson North

 Arizona’s largest population of STEM Premier students is concentrated in the state capitol of Phoenix. Other hubs of students exist in Tucson - home of the University of Arizona, Flagstaff, and Yuma.

 Medical fields dominate the top occupational interests of Arizona’s students, and include surgeons, nursing, pediatrics, and physical therapy.

 ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Arizona shows that overall STEM interest among the state’s students remains steady at 48%, which mirrors the national average. However, particular interest in the mathematics and computer science fields has increased, while medical and healthcare interest has sunk a bit.

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

ASM International and STEM Premier Team Up


Sometimes Christmas comes early, and for us at STEM Premier, nothing brings us more holiday cheer than establishing a new partnership with yet another distinguished organization.

ASM International - the world's largest and most established materials information society - and STEM Premier have joined arms in promoting their members and the field of materials science. With an organizational history dating back to an era of blacksmithing, ASM International seeks to benefit the materials community by providing scientific, engineering and technical knowledge, education, networking and professional development.

ASM International is headquartered at Materials Park - a 45-acre engineering marvel - outside of Cleveland. The organization boasts thousands of members across the globe and more than 80 chapters worldwide, which provide opportunities for students and professionals to network and learn from each other. Additionally, it offers a plethora of educational resources including classroom and lab instruction, online interactive courses, loads of research materials, and much more.

To meet the challenges of the future, the ASM Materials Education Foundation expanded its mission to engage the next generation of students interested in engineering principles and STEM topics. ASM Materials Camp is a unique team-based, intensive problem solving science experience for students entering their junior and senior year. ASM Materials Camp has grown into an award-winning program in which thousands of students have participated.  

Through STEM Premier, ASM members and other individuals who have participated in ASM/ASM Materials Education Foundation programming can request a digital badge to display on their STEM Premier profile. ASM Membership, ASM Materials Camps, and ASM Materials Education Foundation Scholarships are just some of the programs credentialed through STEM Premier.

Are you an ASM International participant? Join STEM Premier and request your digital badge today!

New Business Spotlight: Tidelands Health


Tidelands Health is committed to more than just its patients. It is also committed to its employees and communities. Comprised of three hospitals, more than fifty outpatient locations, and over 2,000 employees and physician partners, Tidelands Health is one of coastal South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems. It is also one of the newest organizations to join STEM Premier's growing network as it seeks to build relationships with South Carolina students interested in pursuing the healthcare vocation.  . 

Tideland Health’s mission of helping people live better lives through better health began more than sixty years ago in Georgetown, SC. In 1946, citizens of Georgetown committed to constructing a hospital to serve the local community. That commitment came to life in 1950, when the first patient was admitted at Georgetown County Memorial Hospital - later to become Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Since then, the hospital has expanded and two additional hospitals have become a part of the system: Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital. Over its sixty-year history, the system has provided healthcare to countless patients.

While its patients are always the #1 priority, Tidelands Health also prioritizes and invests in its employees. “We are focused on creating an environment where professional development is encouraged, innovation is rewarded and a healthy work-life balance is nurtured,” explains Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Tidelands Health.

That's why Tidelands Health wants to be known amongst South Carolina’s students - and future healthcare professionals - so that they consider it when planning their futures. “We are excited to partner with STEM Premier and believe it will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” says Busy. “Though this partnership, we will provide financial support and educational opportunities to prepare young people in our area for a future in health care.”

These educational opportunities include internships, mentorships, and shadowing so that students can get first-hand experiences of what it’s like to work for Tidelands. The goal is to connect interested young students with experts in health-related fields and introducing them to the large variety of career paths available in healthcare.  

Busy says that prospective employees of should be self-driven and open-minded. “Tidelands Health is looking for self-motivated individuals with an interest in health care, a positive, customer service-focused attitude and a sense of pride in their work,” she explains. “In addition, we choose to support and hire individuals who demonstrate an openness to diversity and project a sense of inclusion for individuals unlike themselves.”

By prioritizing these criteria in their hiring process, Tidelands Health has built a network of professionals who are ready and willing to engage outside of the workplace. For prospective employees, becoming part of Tidelands Health also means becoming a part of the community. “Beyond our hospitals,” says Busy, “we partner with the community to deliver health and wellness services. Through the Tidelands Health Sports Medicine Institute, for example, we fund athletic trainers in area high schools...and our Tidelands Community Care Network, a regional collaborative of more than 30 community service organizations, churches, associations and state agencies, connects our region’s uninsured and underinsured residents with medical care and critical services such as food, housing and transportation.”

STEM Premier is excited to welcome Tidelands Health to our network, and we look forward to the enhanced engagement it will provide for students pursuing professions in healthcare; such as those involved with our partner HOSA.  

STEM Premier Powers SME's SOUTH-TEC Rising Stars Day

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We at STEM Premier always love a challenge. 

In October, we were asked by our friends at SME to help them identify and connect with the top STEM and CTE high school talent in the South and invite them to apply for an inaugural recognition event called Champions of Tomorrow: Rising Stars Day - a day recognizing outstanding STEM and CTE students from South Carolina and North Carolina.

The event would occur at SME's SOUTH-TEC - A multi-day event which attracts manufacturers, distributors and equipment builders from across the world, SOUTH-TEC is a hub of industry evolution and innovation. It also presented an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on these industries, and specifically on the young students of today who will be industry leaders tomorrow.

The annual event is hosted by SME in partnership with AMT, and supported by our friends at SC FutureMakers and SkillsUSA in Greenville, SC.

With over 300,000 of the best and brightest in the country on STEM Premier, SME knew the fastest way to find and engage students fitting to be Rising Stars was through our virtual platform.

The application process was hosted through STEM Premier, and was a huge success. Within a few days, SME received a large number of applications from many deserving students in North and South Carolina. On October 24, thirty-four high school juniors and seniors were honored in front of industry leaders and representatives. It was an exciting moment for both the students and professionals.


The day included a panel discussion on workforce development featuring prominent leaders from both private and public sectors, including SkillsUSA Executive Director Timothy Lawrence, South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and BMW’s Community and Government Relations Manager Max Metcalf. Also providing remarks were SME CEO Jeffery Krause and STEM Premier Co-Founder Casey Welch.

STEM Premier even helped SME design a special digital badge recognizing the Rising Stars and proudly displays on their STEM Premier profiles alongside their other skills, talents, and achievements.

We were proud to play a role in such a prestigious event, and we wish the best of luck to each and every student recognized as a Rising Star.


Looking Closer: Student Interest in Media and Communications


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 media and communications industry.

As the U.S. continues its transition into a knowledge economy, media and communications professions are becoming increasingly prevalent as they are necessary for the generation, curation, translation, and dissemination of information. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that media and communication occupations will grow six percent from 2016 to 2026, resulting in approximately 45,000 new jobs.

According to, the top universities in the U.S. for media and communications include Stanford, The University of Pennsylvania, American University, University of Southern California, Northwestern, and Emerson College (MA).

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

  • Broadcast Technicians
  • Editors
  • Interpreters
  • Public Relations Specialists
  • News Analysts
  • Reporters

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

STEM Premier Spotlight: Colorado


Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,400+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Colorado - Boulder, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines
  • Top Intended Majors: Computer Science, Nursing, Bioengineering

Our next state spotlight takes us to the scenic Rocky Mountains for a closer look at the state of Colorado. Home to a bevy of federal military and scientific establishments including North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), The United States Air Force Academy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there’s quite a lot of action in the Centennial State.

Colorado’s largest concentrations of STEM Premier students are located in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Ft. Collins. Other notable areas of student presence include Grand Junction, Vail, La Junta, and Pueblo.

The top occupational interests of Colorado’s students include nursing, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and aeronautical engineering.

ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Colorado 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 from the medical science and engineering disciplines to computer science and mathematics; not necessarily an unexpected shift in the modern information age. Interest in the medical sciences has lessened by 2% over the past five years and - at 35% - lags behind the national average of 41%. But - as mentioned above - interest in general science outpaces the national average by 3%, and interest in computer science and mathematics is ahead by 1% of the national average.

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

Making an Impact: SC Future Makers


In 2016, we embarked on a journey with the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) to launch SC Future Makers, an ambitious initiative to connect South Carolina’s business and the state’s talented students.

Powered by the STEM Premier platform, SC Future Makers provides a powerful resource for students, schools, and businesses to learn about each other and connect in meaningful, productive ways. And within just one year of its implementation, it’s clear that it’s making an impact throughout the state.  

Already 43% of South Carolina’s high schools across 53 of the state’s 81 districts have adopted the SC Future Makers initiative, resulting in over 44,000 new student profiles on STEM Premier. This rapid growth is attributed to the flexibility that the initiative's online nature provides. “Unlike a career day,” explains James Richter, SCMA Director of Workforce Development “SC Future Makers profiles are available 24-7 and can be updated.”

And because high schools serve as the conduit for this opportunity, students can equally participate regardless of geography or socioeconomic background. As with all STEM Premier student profiles, registering and maintaining an account is free, allowing students to establish their presence and immediately begin connecting with employers.

“Companies and colleges need to reach students online, but do so in a relevant way,” says Richter. “Oftentimes social media posts are not the most effective way to communicate a larger story to students because that's their personal domain. By empowering students to showcase their interests in professional profiles and connect to opportunities, we're working in their domain in a different way.”

But despite this early success, STEM Premier and SCMA are not resting on their laurels. We’ve set new goals, intending to implement SC Future Makers in virtually every South Carolina high school and technical college while reaching 100,000 student profiles.

New College Spotlight: York College of Pennsylvania


From day one, York College of Pennsylvania has been on a mission to prepare its students for purposeful and productive lives. A private liberal arts university located a stone’s throw away from the scenic Susquehanna River, York College prides itself on providing the large college experience combined with small college warmth.

And as one of the newest institutions to partner with STEM Premier, they know exactly the type of student they are looking for.

For York College, It all starts with proactivity.

“Students come to York College of Pennsylvania because they want to take action,” explains Andy Shaw, Director of Operations and Enrollment Communications. “They want internships or paid co-operative learning that lead to jobs. They want to conduct research with faculty or have a professor who will meet with them one-on-one. They want to get engaged right away.”

Larger institutions may have difficulty in managing these types of expectations, but York College strives to provide hands-on instruction and engagement for each of its 4000 students. Its 15:1 faculty-to-student ratio provides the opportunity for meaningful relationships to develop and grow between professors and their pupils. “It is not uncommon for a student to spend an hour kicking back with a professor about their career path, trends in the field, and more,” says Shaw.

York offers over sixty bachelor's degree programs, all of which emphasize experience-based learning and involved faculty. York utilizes a program called Generation Next, a unique approach to academic curricula - which helps students create a system of courses that allow them to explore personal interests, as well as enhance and strengthen the skills and abilities valued by their major and potential employers.

With STEM Premier, York College is excited about having access to a diverse group of high-achieving students with a keen interest in STEM. In addition to a traditional liberal arts education, York also offers exceptional degree programs in engineering, healthcare, and other STEM disciplines. 

Beyond the classroom, students are provided with productive outlets for their work and ambitions, such as Elevator Pitch Competitions which have garnered the interests of organizations such as Apple and Google.

All in all, the student experience at York College is described as “friendly, supportive, and action-packed.”

“Students spend a lot of time in the Kinsley Engineering Center,” says Shaw. “There's even a built-in kitchen and lounge area, because they are always working on a project, fine-tuning their research, or talking with faculty.”

Of course, there’s also plenty of opportunities for students to unwind. “With 23 NCAA teams, a modern recreation and fitness center, and daily events, there's always something to do.” 

And with Baltimore, Washington D.C., and New York City all located within reasonable driving distance from campus, students at York are uniquely situated to take advantage of the recreational and professional opportunities offered by these large metropolitan areas. 

Learn more about York College of Pennsylvania.

STEM Premier Reaches 250,000 Student Members

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October marks an important moment for us as we continue our mission to build relationships between students, schools, and businesses.

That’s because this October was the month that our 250,000th student member decided to place their trust - and their future - in STEM Premier. That number continues to grow as more and more students are discovering STEM Premier as the one place they can really showcase everything that makes them special

The importance of this milestone is apparent to anyone who has studied the rise of online networking platforms. The value of these platforms is subject to a phenomenon known the Network Effect, whereby a technology increases in value with every additional user. The more individuals who share a platform increase the amount of potential connections which can result. 

For STEM Premier, this means that schools and employers are quickly gaining access to larger and larger numbers of young people all over the country who will be future students and employees of theirs. Our excitement is compounded by the fact that our 250,000 student members come from all 50 U.S. states and represent a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, skills, talents, and expertise.

At the end of the day, 250,000 isn’t what we care about. It’s just a number. Rather, we care about what that number represents.  

It represents a quarter-million unique stories.

It represents a quarter-million powerful ambitions.

But most importantly, it represents a quarter-million bright futures.

As Soft Skills Become Rarer, STEM Premier Provides a Solution for Employers

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July was a high-water mark for employment as U.S. job openings hit a record 6.2 million. On the other hand, actual hiring remains sluggish as employers struggle to find qualified candidates who meet all the requirements of these jobs.

Because of this, firms have begun to forego finding candidates who completely match their needs. Not doing so may mean turning a four-week hiring process into a twelve-week process. The need for expediency and practicality has replaced the desire for the ideal candidate.

One solution companies are utilizing is to hire candidates whose personality and soft-skills are a good fit for their organization, even if their technical skills may be lacking. In-house training programs are, subsequently, on the rise.

What does this mean for your organization and STEM Premier? You need talent who can thrive in your organization, and today’s job market is providing organizations with unique challenges. Finding a job candidate with a lofty GPA isn’t that difficult. But finding a candidate who can handle difficult clients is mostly luck-of-the-draw.

Grade-point-averages, standardized test scores, and even resumes can only tell you so much about a potential employee. That’s why STEM Premier student profiles are designed to give schools and employers a much more comprehensive understanding of the human being who created it. Of course, test scores and GPAs are a part of a student’s profile. But that’s just the beginning.

Need an employee who can organize a presentation or written proposal? Students can upload academic or professional projects to their profile in several formats such as .PDF and .PPT.

Looking for someone who has that gift of gab? The video upload feature allows students to showcase performances, presentations, or even just a personal testimonial.

Desire an employee who can be relied on to manage their time effectively? Check out their academic, athletic, extracurricular, and philanthropic involvements, and see if they've developed this vital skill.

The bottom line is that you need employees who can connect with your organization’s values, mission, and culture. It’s not the technical skills that are becoming rarer; students are flocking to STEM disciplines in large numbers. It’s those soft-skills and intangibles that are becoming the difference-maker in the job hunt. The problem is that soft-skills are called that because, well, they aren’t exactly measurable.

STEM Premier can help you find that talent who would otherwise go unseen amidst a stack of resumes.