High School

How STEM Premier Works with Secondary Schools

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

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

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

Other ways a school account can help:

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

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

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

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

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

Making the Grade: The Best STEM High Schools in the U.S.

U.S. News and World Report recently released their list of the best STEM high schools in the country. U.S. News, who is no stranger to the importance of STEM education, compiles the annual STEM Index along with Raytheon. The best STEM schools, according to U.S. News’ methodology, are located all around the country - 13 states are represented in the top 25 – and run the gamut of private, public, charter, and magnet schools.  

How were the best schools chosen? First, a school must have received a gold medal award as part of the 2016 U.S. News Best High School rankings; distinguishing it nationally as one of the top 500 schools.

Out of those 500, AP test data in STEM subjects from each school were used to calculate indices in math and science. When combined, these two indices created a final STEM Achievement Index.

In future blogs, we’ll have some fun checking out some of the schools that made the list, and what our platform tells us about the students who attend them.

Proficiency in STEM disciplines is already a vital - and lacking - part of the U.S. economy, and its importance will only increase. Because of this, we are excited to see high schools being recognized which strive to provide the best STEM education possible. If stronger and more effective STEM curricula at the high school level can improve STEM skills among students, everyone wins.

Looking Closer: The U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index and High School Interest

We introduced the U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index in a previous blog post. Now, let’s take a closer look at one of the sub-indices which comprise the overall STEM Index: High School Interest.

High School Interest comprises 11% of the total STEM Index and is based on a single indicator. That indicator, intuitively enough, is the percent of high school students who express interest in STEM. The data was gathered from My College Options, the nation's largest college-planning program operated by the National Research Center for Colleges & University Admissions. In 2013, approximately 2.4 million high school students were asked about their attitude toward STEM fields.

So what did they say?

Overall, the STEM Index saw a brief decline in high school interest in the years following 2000, the baseline year of the Index. However, beginning in 2004, disparate trends among STEM areas began to emerge. Interest in math and science began to increase, reaching a peak in 2009. From there, interest seems to have stagnated or decreased. Conversely, interest in engineering and technology decreased from 2004-2009 and has since gained traction among high school students.

A finding that is most likely unsurprising to many is that male students expressed a much higher level of interest in engineering and technology than females. However, both genders indicated a similar level of interest in science and math.  

Unfortunately for STEM employers in need of a constant pipeline of STEM talent, interest alone may not be enough.

 A recent study suggests that students’ – especially female students - negative perceptions of their mathematical ability creates a roadblock to pursuing STEM subjects. Furthermore, students who pursue STEM degrees may even decide not to pursue a career in STEM.

It may be more important now than ever to identify younger students interested in STEM and keep them engaged.