STEM

New College Spotlight: York College of Pennsylvania

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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.

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Environmental Sciences and Wildlife

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In prior blog posts, we’ve shed some light on some of the career interests of STEM Premier student users. Now we’re delving deeper into select industries to see exactly what careers students have on their radar. Today, we’re looking at the environmental science and wildlife industries.

These industries generally utilize knowledge of the natural sciences in order to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste. More specifically, they may collect samples and data, analyze and determine threats to the environment, develop plans to address environmental issues, and execute environmental policy and procedures.  

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this industry to grow eleven percent by 2024, which is a faster clip than the overall average for all industries. This rapid growth can be attributed to heightened public interest in the environment as well as the increasing stress placed on the environment due to population growth.

According to Ecology Project International, some of the top schools for environmental sciences in the U.S. include Amherst College (MA), Colby College (ME), Colorado College, Montana State University, and Pomona College (CA).  

To get a better idea of some of the environmental science and wildlife occupations which STEM Premier students are interested in, here is a small sample:

  • Environmental Scientists
  • Environmental Inspectors
  • Park Rangers
  • Wildlife Technicians
  • Conservation Scientists
  • Wastewater Treatment Operators

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

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 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: 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

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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!

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

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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.

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. 

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.

STEM Premier iShine Scholarship Spotlight: Julia Holt

Several times each year, we award the STEM Premier iShine Scholarship to one student who is using their profile to best showcase themselves and shine! We also pose a question for each student applicant to answer to the best of their ability.

This time, we asked applicants to submit a short video telling us why they deserve to win the iShine Scholarship and how the scholarship assistance will help them pursue their dreams.

As always, we had many excellent submissions, and we are proud STEM Premier’s newest iShine Scholar: Julia Holt from Orlando, Florida!

Julia is a highly-involved senior at Timber Creek High School passionate about the field of astronomy. She has been accepted by the University of Central Florida, where she intends to enroll next fall. Check out her video entry below:

We caught up with Julia so we could get to know her a little better. Here’s what she had to say:

Something you wouldn't know about me is... that I'm VERY good at Just Dance (the Wii and Xbox game). My high scores have yet to be broken, and I have remained undefeated for almost 4 years.

For fun, I like to…. Relax. I'm a big fan of putting fun puzzles together. I enjoy watching movies, some of my favorites include Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park. And I really, really love to hike because I am so passionate about nature and the environment. These activities relieve a lot of my stress.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet… Eleanor Roosevelt. My dad told me all the time when I was growing up "no one can make you feel inferior without your own consent" which is a famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. I would want to meet her and thank her for those words of wisdom, they have helped me on numerous occasions. I should probably also thank my dad!

The best teachers I’ve ever had were…. Mrs. Frandsen and Ms. Hubble. These two teachers opened my eyes to my personal potential. It is because of them that I have the courage to dream my dreams so big. I will forever be thankful for them and the ways in which they've helped me, whether they knew it or not.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was…. Word Cookies. It's sounds random, but it's actually very fun, and challenging. You have to make words out of letter-shaped cookies. I like to tell myself it's an educational app. :)

After high school, my next step is... to go to the University of Central Florida! I have been accepted and I plan to pursue a degree in Physics!

In ten years, I see myself…. earning my PhD in Physics and becoming an official Astronomer somewhere in Colorado (because I love the mountains).

My greatest dream is... to be alive to see plants on Mars.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is... the way it "rates" your test scores. It's hard to find an exact answer to "what is a good score on the ACT/SAT?". The dashboard scales/color coats the scores (red/yellow/green), and it is actually very helpful in determining whether or not retaking the ACT or SAT is the best option, at least for me. :)

As the winner of the STEM Premier iShine Scholarship, Julia will receive $1000 as well as the STEM Premier iShine Scholarship Digital Badge. Congratulations Julia!

A Professional HUD: STEM Premier's Student Dashboard

If you’re an aircraft pilot, you are familiar with an HUD.

For everyone else, the acronym may be unfamiliar, but the concept shouldn’t be. An HUD, or Heads-Up Display, is an apparatus which presents important data to the user of a certain technology - a fighter jet, for example - without requiring them to take their eyes off of what’s in front of them.

When you’re flying at 800 miles per hour, you can imagine why that would be useful!

STEM Premier's Student Dashboard works in the same way.

Both at the secondary and collegiate level, students have a lot going on in their lives. They have tests to study for, homework to do, and projects to complete. And that just describes their academic lives! They also want to make time for friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities.

Simply put, students don’t have a lot of time to think about their academic and professional futures. Perhaps that’s why big state schools with strong brand-awareness never fail to attract their fair share of applicants. It could also explain why certain high-prestige professions, such as law and healthcare, dominate student interest surveys (on the 2015 CIRP Freshman Survey, an astounding 27.4% of incoming college freshman identified themselves as either pre-law or pre-med).

STEM Premier’s Student Dashboard is tailor-designed for each student on the STEM Premier platform. Using data from the user’s personal profile, the dashboard compiles and aggregates vital information for each student as they navigate their hectic lives at 800 mph - just like an HUD system!

When a student logs onto STEM Premier, their Dashboard is the first thing they see. Here’s what they’ll find:

They’ll find how their standardized test scores - such as their ACT score -  stack up against other users, which may prompt them to try for a higher score and broaden their opportunities.

They’ll find the “Explore Organizations” module, which will connect them with schools and businesses who match up well with their educational and career interests.

They’ll find financial aid opportunities powered by Redkite, which matches students to certain scholarship opportunities based on their STEM Premier profile information.  

In other words, STEM Premier students will have information placed at their fingertips which used to have taken hours of research to compile. That’s the whole point of an HUD. At STEM Premier, we don’t want students to have to take their eyes off the windshield to figure out where they’re going.

We want to help them know exactly where they’re headed. While still going full-throttle.

 

Best STEM High Schools Spotlight: #10 Troy High School

In April, we talked about U.S. News and World Report’s recently released list of the best STEM high schools in the country.

We’re checking out some of the top schools which made the list. We’re rounding out the top 10 in this week’s spotlight with #10 on the list: Troy High School in Fullerton, CA.

Quick Facts:

  • Grade Levels: 9-12
  • Total Enrollment: 2720
  • Students on STEM Premier?: YES

In terms of enrollment, Troy High School is the largest school in the top 10 of the U.S. News and World Report’s best STEM high schools. A comprehensive four-year high school and part of the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, Troy High is located near California State University-Fullerton, offering unique educational opportunities for Troy’s students.

Troy High’s high ranking in the best STEM schools is due to its Troy Tech Specialized Secondary Magnet Program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Troy Tech is a nationally acclaimed magnet program established in 1986 and 61% of Troy High’s students participate.

The program offers an advanced curriculum in technology with career strands focusing on computer science, engineering, cyber defense, media, business, and leadership. Seniors also participate in a senior internship provides a year-long hands-on experience in business, industry, academia, and local, state and national government with students working under professional mentors. Troy Tech boasts a mentor database of over 1,000 professional mentors who work with students one-on-one!

We tip our cap to Troy High School, and congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition. Go Warriors!

Are You Ignoring STEM Recruiting?

It’s no secret that we believe recruiting and building a talent pipeline is vital for any organization. This is especially true for STEM-centric organizations or positions within any organization which require STEM skills. That’s because some estimates project more than 2 million unfilled STEM jobs in the U.S. by 2018. This will create an extremely competitive environment as businesses fight over a limited supply of qualified candidates.

But don’t take it from us. TalentCulture - a professional and career resources website - recently questioned how seriously organizations are taking their STEM recruitment efforts and offered three big tips for leaders and human resources directors to consider. STEM Premier can help with all three.

1. Build Relationships with Candidates Before They Are Job Hunting

Job fairs are great, but the real forward-thinking organizations are getting in front of talent long before the job search begins. The ability to communicate with students on STEM Premier, as well as post scholarships and internship opportunities helps organizations establish rapport with prospects.

2. Focus on Diversity

Diversity these days is key. The demographic makeup of your company can have unintended and detrimental consequences when it comes to hiring the best talent. A sharp, young female web designer may be turned off by your office’s heavy male population, for example. Use STEM Premier’s search criteria to locate individuals whose background and demographics give your organization a wide variety of unique perspectives.

3. Create Your Own Talent Pipeline

This is the foundation of what STEM Premier is all about. Our platform allows educational institutions and organizations the ability to tailor a recruitment strategy that makes sense for them, find talent based on their specific needs, and communicate with that talent at any point in the process. If you know what you need, we’ll help you find it.

STEM Premier Dashboard Scholarship Winner: Lydia Chew

 

Several times a year, we select STEM Premier students to receive the STEM Premier Dashboard Scholarship. Every student on STEM Premier is eligible to apply for the scholarship via their dashboard.

The scholarship is simple - answer our posed question the best you can!

The winning response was submitted by Lydia Chew, a high school senior from California!

Lydia is quite an active individual. A National Honor Society member and captain of her cross country team, she is impressive both inside and outside the classroom!

We wanted to do a little Q&A with Lydia to get to know our latest STEM Premier Dashboard Scholarship winner a little better. Read more below about her in her own words!

Something you wouldn't know about me is... that I've been wearing glasses since I was less than one year old!

For fun, I like to…. go on long runs, play the piano, and listen to a variety of music.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet… Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I have so much respect for his activism and optimism, which are especially embodied by his campaign against polio and by his efforts to promote economic recovery.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is... Mrs. Kumar, who teaches AP Chemistry at Mission San Jose High School and has been a major catalyst for my success. Mrs. Kumar's knowledge and passion for teaching has led me develop an even more profound appreciation for education and learning.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was... the Starbucks app. I was in New York for a summer college program, and I wanted to reward myself after the final exam by enjoying some natural scenery and a free Frappuccino!

After high school, my next step is... to attend college, where I plan to study Nutrition and Dietetics and to further my interest in Environmental Chemistry.

In ten years, I see myself… as a Registered Dietitian and food advocate, serving people in my community as well as around the world. I especially look forward to helping my parents and elders with their nutrition and well-being, because that'll be the least I can do to thank them for all of their love and hard work.

My greatest dream is... to end hunger and malnutrition in the United States by impelling the federal government to invest in good nutrition (taking an approach similar to that of Environmental Keynesianism).

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is... how the platform isn't just made for the student—it's also made by the student.

Congratulations to you Lydia! We are excited to have students like you be part of the STEM Premier community. We’re sure that you’ll make a difference in the world someday!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Illinois

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 3,500+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern University
  • Top Intended Majors: Computer Science, Pre-Medicine, Mechanical Engineering

For this month’s STEM Premier Spotlight, we’re heading to the Midwest for a closer look at the state of Illinois. Home of reputable schools such as Northwestern University and the University of Chicago, the Prairie State’s STEM Premier’s student base includes an impressive 387 National Honor Society members.

Unsurprisingly, Illinois’ largest concentration of STEM Premier students is located in Chicago and its suburbs. Other notable areas of student presence are found in Peoria, Bloomington, and Springfield.

The top occupational interests of Illinois’ students include mechanical engineering, biological science, and computer programming.

ACT’s 2015 Condition of STEM Report on Illinois has shown a slight decrease in STEM interest among the state’s students over the past five years. This decrease seems to be caused by a shift of interest areas. While interest in medical and natural sciences has lessened, the opposite holds true for interest in computer science and mathematics (a 2% increase since 2011), and engineering (a 1% increase). This same trend is reflected in the Top Intended Majors of Illinois’ STEM Premier students.

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

Best STEM High Schools Spotlight: #6 BASIS Tucson North

In April, we talked about U.S. News and World Report’s recently released list of the best STEM high schools in the country.

We’re taking a closer look at the schools which made the list. In today’s post, let’s check out #6: BASIS Tucson North in Tucson, Arizona.

Quick Stats

  • Grade Levels: 5-12
  • Total Enrollment: 913
  • Students on STEM Premier?: YES

BASIS Tucson North is the second BASIS school in the top 10 best STEM high schools, joining its counterpart #4 BASIS Scottsdale. Operated by BASIS.ed, this international network of charter schools boasts sixteen institutions in the state of Arizona, where the organization originally found roots in 1998. Since then, BASIS has established locations in Texas as well as Washington D.C.

With a capacity of 1,000 students, BASIS Tucson North is the largest campus in the BASIS network, and like its sister schools, it is structured into lower and upper levels in which grades 5-8 develop organizational skills and core knowledge while grades 9-12 includes an intensive AP-required curriculum.

Not to be outdone by its impressive academic rigor, BASIS Tucson also boasts dozens of extracurricular activities tailored to meet the interests of the school’s diverse student body. Student activities include Chess Club, Dance Team, Mock Trial, and - our personal favorite - Women in STEM.

 

10 Career Interests You May Not Expect on STEM Premier

Last month, we used data from our platform to list 10 Intended Majors You May Not Expect on STEM Premier.

Now we want to take it a step further and delve into the career interests of students on the STEM Premier platform. As part of the profile creation process, students are given the opportunity to choose one or more career interests from a list of hundreds. These career interests are broken into several categories such as Construction, Environmental, and Healthcare Support.

Academic institutions and businesses can then use these interests as part of their search criteria so they can find the types of students who would be interested in what they have to offer.

In the spirit of last month’s post, below are 10 career interests you may not expect on STEM Premier and the number of students interested based on their profile information!

  • Actor
  • Chef
  • Mental Health Counselor
  • Public Accountant
  • Fashion Designer
  • Aircraft Pilot
  • Primary/Secondary School Teacher
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Budget Analyst

In future blog posts, we’ll take closer looks at specific job categories and the career interests within.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Joins STEM Premier-Vincennes University Partnership

One month ago, we announced our partnership with Indiana-based Vincennes University. However - not to rest on our laurels - we’re excited to announce another incredible member of this collaboration: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana.

Building off of our partnership with VU, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) will be utilizing STEM Premier’s platform to recruit students for their Advance Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. Billed as the strongest manufacturing-supportive degree in the state of Indiana, Toyota’s AMT program is an education-to-work initiative offered through Vincennes University.

Students in this program will be engaged in a high-powered five semester curriculum along with a paid working experience, all while being exposed to the best practices of Toyota’s world class manufacturing process. Over the course of the program, students will earn enough pay to cover their educational expenses and the opportunity to graduate debt free. This kind of opportunity is what STEM Premier is all about!

This three-way collaboration between STEM Premier, Vincennes University, and TMMI will play a part in alleviating the manufacturing skills gaps which is projected to become a major issue in the near future. Over 3.5 million manufacturing jobs are expected to be needed over the next decade, based on estimates from the National Association of Manufacturers. Of those, 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the gap in necessary manufacturing skills.

“As technology increases, so does the need for skilled technicians at our facility. Programs such as the AMT program do a great job at creating a qualified pipeline of skilled technicians who are job ready,” said Terry Henderson, general manager, human resources at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. “However, in order to maintain that talent pipeline, we need to reach high school students earlier and educate them on our programs and opportunities. That’s why our partnership with STEM Premier is so important to our success.”