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  • 1.  STEM candidate

    Posted 06-26-2014 03:24 PM

    My Command has realized that the STEM candidate pool is drying up and has decided to figure out ways we can help develop more STEM graduates.  What has your company or society done that has been successful that we could emulate?  We all need to work together on this and can learn from each other where best to put our efforts.

    Nancy Manley P.E., D.WRE, F.ASCE
    US Air Force
    Robins AFB GA
    (478) 327-2900

  • 2.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 06-27-2014 11:48 AM
    What does your Command want in a STEM candidate?  What does your Command consider a STEM candidate?  What is your Command's idea of suitable compensation for a STEM candidate?  What extreme limitations does your Command have on who it will consider a STEM candidate?  What is your Command doing to make individuals want to be a STEM candidate? 

    When I was in the Air Force ('66-'70), we were encouraged to think about a problem and solution instead of mechanically responding.  But, we were ordered to do what we were told, when we were told, as we were told, without questioning!  That schizophrenia  was more than I could handle.

    James Mercier P.E., M.ASCE
    Texas Dept Of Transportation
    Austin TX
    (512) 442-4016

  • 3.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 06-27-2014 11:48 AM
    With record numbers of engineering graduates, particularly in civil and mechanical engineering, pouring out of engineering schools around the US it is surprising to hear the STEM candidate pool is drying up.  Maybe the need is for non-engineering STEM graduates.  As a civil engineering department chair who tracks the success of our graduates, I know that the civil engineering market is not absorbing all of these available engineers. 

    Gary Schafran A.M.ASCE
    Old Dominion University
    Norfolk VA
    (757) 683-3753

  • 4.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 06-27-2014 11:48 AM
    Build relationships with colleges, universities and trade schools which graduate the type of hires you are seeking. Participation in co-op or intern programs, job fairs and job banks is a good way to start building up your candidate pool. 

    Increase student awareness of stem careers and opportunities by encouraging employee participation in and sponsoring events, e.g.

    NSPE's Engineering Week offers many activities to encourage STEM youth; e.g. Future City Competition and Introduce a Girl to Engineering,  http://www.nspe.org/resources/partners-and-state-societies/national-engineers-week

    Boy Scouts of America Explorer Engineering: http://exploring.learningforlife.org/services/career-exploring/engineering/

    Exploring Engineering Academy (Atlanta): http://www.atlantabsa.org/OrgHeaders/2521/EEA%20Brochure%202014(1).pdf

    Jean Rearick P.E., M.ASCE
    Roswell GA

  • 5.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 07-01-2014 10:32 AM

    My message would be for parents to take away the iPhones and Android smartphones from kids who are not even in the middle school yet and encourage their kids to focus more on maths, reading and writing while they are still in the elementary school.

    There are two sides to this coin. Local politicians, instead of paying lip service on school, teachers, and family values, just before the elections, should identify the schortcomings of the schools within their districts and make every effort to provide these districts with the resources and the skills needed to provide STEM education. Even in many parts of Maryland, school teachers sometimes have to spend their own money to buy supplies needed to meet all the requirements of the their class rooms. Not all parents can afford to buy everything on the "Recommended Purchase Lists" provided to all the parents throughout the state. If this is the situation in a relatively well-off state like Maryland, I can only imagine the situation in states that are not economically well off like Maryland is.

    Also, in states likes Maryland, the school districts are too heavily dependent on local (County) property taxes. So, as an example, a 5th grader attending an elementary school in Howard County has access to far more resources and better skilled teachers than an equally smart and enthusiastic kid living in St. Mary's County.

    If all things are equal across the U.S., and proper national standards, accompanied by the availability of the same level of resources and study environment for all school-attending kids, there wouldn't be a need for program like STEM to produce the number of engineers and scientists needed on annual basis to sustain the U.S. economy and meet the National Security needs at the same time.

    There are too many examples around the world, from Canada to Sweden on how it is done differently. 

    Ranjith Ravindiran P.E., M.ASCE
    Louis Berger
    Baltimore MD
    (410) 468-4054

  • 6.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 07-02-2014 10:19 AM
    When I was in school, science, math, English...well, school in general was a wash for me.  I ended up getting interested in engineering and science when I was in my final years of high school.  I took a drafting class that was more hands on than the traditional classroom and that made class work more enjoyable.  

    The traditional system of lecture, homework, and exam is not a successful one.  There is too much pressure on students of all ages to pass standardized tests and to accomplish homework that does not stimulate, or teach, students.  My two most memorable classes in high school were physics and that drafting class because both were hands on and exciting to attend and pay attention to.  

    We should challenge our school system to veer off the traditional path and explore more exciting was to encourage students to learn. This is true across all disciplines.  In college I had a professor who opted to do away with a final exam for a history class and in its place have the students participate in a reenactment of a historical event.  He received a lot of flak from the administration when he first started this, even lost his job temporarily.  There was such a huge following by the student body that believed in his approach that the university reinstated him.  I remember everything I learned and read in the class on immigration and ethnicity in the United States, and feel privileged to have taken the class with this professor. 

    Jason Stawski
    Design Engineer
    Muller Engineering Company, Inc.
    Lakewood CO

  • 7.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 07-02-2014 11:35 AM
    My kids elementary school teachers (U.S.A.) have expressed to me that it is ok if kids are not good at math, that math requires a special aptitude that only some people are blessed with. Interesting anecdote. That is certainly not a consistent with what has been expressed to me by some non-U.S. educators (e.g. Japan, China, Russia). Our kids need motivators to challenge themselves to learn math early if they want to have the opportunity to pursue STEM careers later. I had key motivating instructors in elementary and middle school that showed me what I could do with math and that I could learn it if I only tried to. That is very personal and anecdotal, and not easily generalized without a lot more data.

    Yet, it seems that cultural attitudes can play a strong role in motivating our kids. The public relations behind the space program and cold war in the 1960s in the U.S. (and NATO nations and Soviet Block nations) were key motivators for the entire educational systems of those nations to promote the basic educational elements of STEM and motivate young minds to learn those skills to prepare themselves for future STEM careers.  

    Richard Haimann P.E., D.WRE, M.ASCE
    Huntington Beach CA
    (714) 377-7855

  • 8.  RE: STEM candidate

    Posted 07-31-2017 06:08 PM
    UNESCO's first international symposium and policy forum on girls' education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 28 to 30 August2017.

    The Symposium will examine girls' disadvantage in STEM studies and careers worldwide, and what the education sector can do to address gender gaps in STEM.

    It will provide space to share and discuss the factors that impact on girls' participation and achievement in STEM fields, and good practice worldwide.

    The event is organized jointly by UNESCO HQ and UNESCO's Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education.

    For more information, click on the following links:

    The full event presentation
    UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum webpage
    UNESCO website
    UNESCO office in Bangkok website

    William Hayden Ph.D., P.E., CP, F.ASCE
    Adjunct Asst. Professor
    Management Quality By Design, Inc.
    Amherst NY