STEM

STEM Premier Spotlight: Texas

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The Rundown:

  • STEM Premier Student Accounts: 20,000

  • Male/Female User Split: Male - 41%, Female - 59%

  • Next Step:

    • College - 92%

    • Technical or Community College - 5%

    • Workforce/Military - 3%

  • Top High School Representation:

    • Manvel High School (Manvel)

    • Ball High School (Galveston)

    • Brazoswood High School (Clute)

    • Bel Air High School (El Paso)

    • DeBakey High School for Health Professions (Houston)

  • Top Career Interests:

    • Surgeons

    • Pediatricians

    • Mechanical Engineers

    • Registered Nurses

    • Aerospace Engineers

  • Top In-State College Interests:

    • University of Texas

    • Texas A&M University

    • Baylor University

    • Rice University

    • University of Houston

  • Top Out-of-State College Interests:

    • Stanford University

    • Harvard University

    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    • University of California - Berkeley

    • Johns Hopkins University

  • Number of Post-Secondary Student Users: 700

The last time we checked in with the Lone Star State, it had just over 3,000 student users. That number has since grown seven-fold to over 20,000! Texas also boasts nine of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

Female student profiles in Texas outnumber males 59% to 41%, which continues to be encouraging news for a range of professions and industries historically considered to be dominated by men; healthcare and engineering are two of the state’s most popular career interests. In fact, nearly 1,700 female students in Texas are members of HOSA - Future Health Professionals.

But some of the most exciting news about Texas is the diversity of our student population. Nearly 10% of student users identify as first-generation students, and it is one of the only states where minority users (Hispanic/Latino) comprise the largest proportion of our users!

STEM Premier Spotlight: South Carolina

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The Rundown:

  • STEM Premier Student Accounts: 70,000

  • Male/Female User Split: Male - 48%, Female - 52%

  • Next Step:

    • College - 70%

    • Technical or Community College - 13%

    • Workforce/Military - 17%

  • Top High School Representation:

    • Cane Bay High School

    • Summerville High School

    • Goose Creek High School

    • Aiken High School

    • Fort Dorchester High School

  • Top Career Interests:

    • Registered Nurses

    • Mechanical Engineers

    • Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides

    • Surgeons

    • Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers

  • Top In-State College Interests:

    • Clemson University

    • University of South Carolina (Columbia)

    • College of Charleston

    • Coastal Carolina University

    • Winthrop University

  • Top Out-of-State College Interests:

    • Duke University

    • University of North Carolina

    • University of Georgia

    • North Carolina State University

    • Florida State University

  • Number of Post-Secondary Student Users: 1,500

It’s been nearly two years since our last spotlight on the state of South Carolina. And my how things have changed! The number of STEM Premier student users has grown exponentially since then, which means so too has our data and insight into this population of young talent.

Powered in large part by our relationship with SC Future Makers, over 50,000 students have joined our platform in the past two years to connect with schools, businesses, and organizations.

It’s true that much of our talent resides in the state’s larger metropolitan areas, but that’s to be expected. What has us totally pumped is how deeply the STEM Premier platform has reached every corner of the state. This enables every student to have a fair shake, whether they’re in Charleston or Chesterfield. And speaking of Chesterfield, we know 40 students there who are interested in becoming a classroom teacher. That’s breaking news for a state which is facing a critical teacher shortage!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Emily Nguyen

We are always proud to spotlight our 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Taylor Belyeu from Longwood, Florida. This week, the limelight is on Emily Nguyen from Harvest, Alabama!

Emily is a first-year student at Auburn University pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with specializations in pre-medicine. In high school, she was a multiple-event state finalist in the Science Olympiad and also a HOSA - Future Health Professionals state finalist.

Read more about Emily below in her own words.

Emily Nguyen

Harvest, Alabama

Auburn University

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...as a toddler, I actually started writing with my right hand but swapped to my left when I was given the notion that being left-handed was "cooler." That's why, today, I do everything with my right hand except for writing.

For fun, I like to...volunteer and browse Pinterest (there's nothing like smiling faces and pretty things that lift my mood).

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Leonardo da Vinci. I would love to see how he thinks and sees the world, giving me a glimpse into the mind of a genius.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...not actually my "official" teacher. Mrs. Hodge is the sponsor for my Science Olympiad and InSPIRESS team, but she has gone above and beyond to help me in any aspect; she is the sole reason I was able to qualify on my AP Chemistry exam last year.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...the ABC Channel app so I could watch some of my favorite tv shows (I highly recommend The Good Doctor and How to Get Away with Murder).

In ten years, I see myself...happily occupied with a job that will give me opportunities to travel and immerse myself in cultures all over the globe.

My greatest dream is...(very cliche) a world dominated by love and happiness that no amount of evil can overcome: an end to mass violence, a cure for cancer, and for me, a life of stability.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...it being such an accessible portal to multiple opportunities in education, internships, and various organizations.

We hope for the best for you Emily! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Taylor Belyeu

We are always proud to spotlight our 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Richard Coca from California. Next up is Taylor Belyeu from Longwood, Florida!

Currently a senior at Smith Prep Academy, Taylor is a soccer stand-out with aspirations of serving the United States as a member of our armed forces. She is currently active in the Civil Air Patrol, and has received recognition for her leadership ability and dedication. She hopes to contribute her talents in the field of cyber security, which she has already demonstrated by being recognized for her achievements at the Patrick Henry College Intelligence and Foreign Policy Camp.

Read more about Taylor below in her own words.

Taylor Belyeu

Longwood, Florida

Smith Prep Academy

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I manage the family cattle ranch. This includes taking care of a herd of cattle and a few goats.

For fun, I like to...read good books, both fiction and nonfiction, and go skydiving.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...George Washington. He was an amazing military and political leader. Plus, he's one of the Founding Fathers.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my math teacher, Mrs. Tiller. When I started with her, I hated and feared math, but through her tutelage, I've come to enjoy it as one of my favorite subjects!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Slack. I use it for my robotics club and my internship with DFW Speech and Debate.

After high school, my next step is to…attend a four-year college, preferably a military academy, and major in computer science.

In ten years, I see myself...as a Cyber Operations Officer in the military.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...the connections it makes between colleges, businesses, scholarships, and students. It makes life so much easier, and it's really nice to have profile set up for easy access.

We hope for the best for you Taylor! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Richard Coca

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was Neha Chava from Northville, Michigan. Next up in the limelight is Richard Coca from California!

Richard currently attends Reseda Senior High in San Fernando Valley while also dual-enrolled at Los Angeles Mission College. The AP Scholar is highly involved with HOSA where his team was named as one of the state’s Top 10 for biomedical debate. But certainly his most “thrilling” accomplishment was winning first place in the Magic Mountain Roller Coaster Proposal Competition in which competitors design a roller coaster from scratch!

Read more about Richard below in his own words.

Richard Coca

San Fernando Valley, CA

Reseda Senior High School

Something you wouldn't know about me is...Something you wouldn't know about me is that I'm very Twitter savy. Follow me on Twitter @richcocacola

For fun, I like to...get out of the house, especially to travel and visit new places.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne. He seems like a down-to-earth guy and his previous research interests me.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...Dr. Wendy Wooten. She was the one who gave me so opportunities in science and allowed me to get my foot in the door to research.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Attendify. I had to download it for CAL HOSA's State Leadership Conference. HOSA is a great club for future health professionals because of the networking opportunities, workshops, and events.

After high school, my next step is…to go to Stanford University. I'm nervous but even more excited. #FearTheTree #GoCardinals

In ten years, I see myself...doing some type of scientific research. As to what kind, I'm not sure but I do know that I want it to have real world applications.

My greatest dream is…being part of the generation that solves cancer, or even Alzheimer's, or any other disease. The future is limitless and I am really excited that I'll get to be a part of a change that hopefully benefits the world.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...its easy to use platform and how simple it is to highlight all of your accomplishments.

We hope for the best for you Richard! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

Breaking Down Barriers: First-Generation Students Make STEM Premier Work for Them

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Historically speaking, the deck has been stacked against young students whose parents do not possess a college degree; students otherwise known as first-generation (or “first-gen”) college students. For example, a 2013 study found that only 17 percent of first-gen students earned a college degree within ten years of their high school sophomore year; a much lower rate than their peers who have parents with a college education.

But at the end of the day, first-generation students who are deemed “college-ready” persist just as successfully at the post-secondary level as continuing generation students. Thousands of STEM Premier students identify as first-generation. These students in particular are out to prove themselves, and they’re using our digital ecosystem to do it. In fact, we’ve identified them as one our “highly motivated” student populations. Simply put, they’re awesome.

Here’s how we know:

  • More than three out of four first-generation students on STEM Premier have a fully completed profile; a rate that out-strips continuing generation students by about nine percent.

  • They are reporting higher rates of AP test engagement and digital badge ownership.

  • The rate at which they apply for scholarships and other opportunities via STEM Premier closely matches their continuing-generation peers.

What are they passionate about?

  • 84% of them have their sights set on attending a four-year college. Talk about closing the gap!

  • 10% plan to pursue CTE (Career Technical Education). That’s essential education for some of America’s hardest-to-fill jobs.

  • 6% plan to serve our country in the military, where they will learn critical technical and leadership skills.

  • The most popular career interests for first-generation students include counselors, paralegals, librarians, and equipment technicians.

As we’ve discovered, the passion among these students has been blazing for years. They’ve simply needed an outlet to pursue that passion. We truly cannot express how honored we are to be that gateway to opportunity. But we’re not surprised. After all, STEM Premier is where all students get their opportunity to shine.

Three Reasons We're Excited About Our New Partnership With K12, Inc.

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In August, we officially announced a $9 million strategic investment from K12 Inc., a nation-wide leader in online curriculum and school programs for students in pre-K through high school. This investment signals an incredible expansion of our mission to connect talented students everywhere with the colleges, businesses, and organizations which are seeking them.

Needless to say, we’re excited about this opportunity. But we shouldn’t be the only ones. Any organization - academic or professional - which relies on recruiting to keep their talent pipeline flowing should share our enthusiasm. Here’s why.

We share a mission

Like us, K12 believes that every person - and student - is unique, and seeks to provide online educational solutions tailor-made for each student’s needs and goals. K12 offers comprehensive public and private school experiences as well as individualized and supplemental course options. Its award-winning curriculum is comprised of core subjects, including foreign languages, as well as AP, honors, STEM, and dual-credit offerings.

“Attracting the investment of a national leader in educational technology,” says our CEO Casey Welch, “will provide us the opportunity to accelerate both of our companies’ missions.”

We share a vision of the future of workforce development

As a result of this partnership, the STEM Premier platform will be incorporated into K12’s nationwide Career Technical Education (CTE) programs in order to more successfully match its participants with in-demand jobs across the country.

Known as Destinations Career Academies, these K12-managed programs allow their students to pursue practical career-readiness coursework alongside their core classes which will prepare them for professional success across a variety of industries such as health sciences, information technology, agriculture, architecture, and construction. Extracurricular activities like work-based experiences and competitions allow students to further enhance their professional and academic development. As a result, thousands of students are earning their diplomas already well-prepared for their next step, whether it be a job, the military, or further education.

“Our strategic investment in STEM Premier will develop a robust talent pipeline of skilled workers empowered to thrive in the 21st century business environment,” says K12 Chairman & CEO Nate Davis.

We share an ever-growing online environment of talent

What this means for organizational users of STEM Premier  is that they will immediately gain access to even greater numbers of diverse students across the nation. This will be especially beneficial for industries which face severe skills gaps.

“Incorporating STEM Premier into our Destinations portfolio,” says Davis, “will prove to be a powerful force in matching students with hard-to-fill job opportunities in fields like healthcare, IT, construction and manufacturing.”

Those familiar with the “network effect” which makes social media platforms like Facebook so dynamic will understand the impact this will have on STEM Premier’s online environment. As more users join, the more powerful of a tool it becomes for everyone involved.

This investment will allow our user base to grow exponentially, providing organizations with the ability to connect, engage, and recruit individuals who would otherwise have gone unnoticed. For our student users, their opportunities will be vastly expanded as we continue to lower the barriers which once forced them into traditional - and outdated - avenues of educational and professional growth. It doesn’t matter if they’re from South Carolina, South Dakota or South Chicago. Everyone will have their chance to shine on STEM Premier.

We’re pumped about this. We hope you are too.  

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Neha Chava

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Meigan Wu from Bakersfield, California. Next up is Neha Chava from Northville, Michigan!

An extremely involved member of HOSA, Neha has participated in several of the organization’s leadership conferences. She is an extremely talented tennis player who has laid claim to multiple regional and state championships. Her passion for tennis led her to establish and coordinate a summer youth tennis camp; proceeds from the camp went to charity. She has also volunteered for the American Red Cross and her local food bank. She recently enrolled at the University of Michigan where she will being pursuing her goal of becoming a cardiologist.

Read more about Neha below in her own words.

Neha Chava

Northville, MI

University of Michigan

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I have a twin brother!

For fun, I like to...bake! I love to bake anything and everything and even started a baking club at school.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor. I would love to meet her because of the perseverance she exhibited when faced with the adversity in her life.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my high school English teacher because he fostered great class discussions and taught many valuable analytical skills!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...”I Love Hue” - a color game! It’s challenging but fun!

In ten years, I see myself...being a cardiologist and treating patients!

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...how a student’s profile can be entirely customizable to reflect their own interests, activities, passions, and - best of all - their personality!

We hope for the best for you Neha! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier user Connor Woods found an internship on STEM Premier - with us!

Connor Woods was in high school when he first combined his two greatest interests: baseball and statistical analysis. At the time, college baseball had recently enacted a rules change stipulating the use of flat-seam baseballs instead of the raised-seam balls teams had previously played with.

“It was supposed to infuse more offense into the game,” explained Connor, “and I wanted to see if that’s really what happened.” The question became the topic of his senior thesis at Academic Magnet High School in North Charleston.

Although his results were inconclusive, Connor - a right-handed pitcher himself - was pleased with how his thesis turned out. The research project taught him how to gather and organize data, perform analysis, and draw conclusions from it.

But more than that, he learned that he wants his skills to impact more than just the baseball diamond. “I really want to impact people’s lives. To impact communities,” he explains.

That’s why we were stoked when he connected with us on - where else? - STEM Premier about a summer internship opportunity. 

“I enjoy opportunities where I can see the results of my work. Working for a technology start-up was perfect. I really got to dive into the company, and they welcomed me like family.”

As an intern, Connor worked directly alongside our team assisting with various facets of our operations, from sitting in on engagement meetings to communicating directly with students in order to improve the user experience. He even did his own “senior thesis” project for us: performing a comprehensive analysis of our user base. He presented his findings to the entire company prior to returning to Claremont, California to begin his junior year at Pomona College.   

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“It was big confidence boost for me to take vast amounts of data and break it down into actionable conclusions,” he says.  

It was a big confidence boost for us to. We were excited to hear what he had to say. 

“I was amazed by the amount of female student users who are interested in STEM," he explains, "We hear so much about STEM areas being primarily dominated by males. The data from STEM Premier’s user base indicates that the tides might be shifting.”

He even delved into the nitty-gritty of our user base, drilling down into stats like profile completion rate and the number of scholarships a student applied for. From there, he identified a large population of students who are taking full advantage of the opportunities we have to offer.

“The amount of motivated first-generation students on STEM Premier is significant. It’s a population that colleges and companies would surely want to take note of.”

Although we were bummed that he had to return to school in August, we hope his time spent with us has a lasting influence on his professional aspirations. Working toward his degree in economics with minors in Spanish and mathematics, Connor - who is also a relief pitcher for Pomona College - plans to apply his skills in the non-profit or educational fields upon graduating.

While the professional aspect of his internship was rewarding, Connor says that he’ll always remember the life lessons he learned from our leaders.

“One thing [CEO] Casey Welch taught me was that - like members of a baseball team - everyone is going to have strengths and weaknesses. It’s how you combine the different strengths of different people that makes a great team.”

From all of us here at STEM Premier, thanks Connor! 

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STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Meigan Wu

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Anna Weinstein from Denver, Colorado. Now - hailing from Bakersfield, California - it's Meigan Wu's time to shine!

Honored as valedictorian of her high school class, Meigan is undeniably a "renaissance woman." She was named as both the top instrumental music student and top science student of her high school, and her contributions to her tennis squad earned her the distinction of "most inspirational player." She was also presented the Good Citizens Award by the Daughters of the American Revolution  for patriotism and service to her community. 

It is no surprise then that she received the 23rd Congressional District of California Merit Award personally presented by Congressman Kevin McCarthy for demonstrated excellence in academics, citizenship, and leadership skills. 

Meigan recently enrolled at UCLA after spending her summer interning with an environmental consulting firm. She intends to major in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics.

Read more about Meigan below in her own words.

Meigan Wu

Bakersfield, California

UCLA

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I am obsessed with Walt Disney films and characters. My favorite Disney movies are Peter Pan and Mulan.

For fun, I like to...play music on my flute! I especially love playing with others in duets, small ensembles, orchestras, and bands.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Empress Wu Zetian, the only female ruler in Chinese history. 

The best teacher I’ve ever had was...my AP Calculus BC teacher and high school band director. Both are very passionate about the subjects they teach and are always there to help and support me!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Pinterest.

In ten years, I see myself...living a comfortable lifestyle in a suburban area. I imagine myself as a classy researcher making discoveries in a well-known institute. 

My greatest dream is...to travel the world with my friends and family.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...being able to organize my information in an easily accessible way, and I really appreciate the resume STEM Premier generates.

We hope for the best for you Meigan! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Anna Weinstein

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Jonathan Banks from Oak Park, Illinois. Now, it's time to shine it on Anna Weinstein from Denver, Colorado! 

Anna recently graduated from Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado - a suburb of Denver - where she was a National Merit Scholarship finalist and an AP National Scholar. Her nimble footwork on the pitch also earned her All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition for women's soccer.

She was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she will begin classes this fall and continue her soccer career. 

Read more about Anna below in her own words.

Anna Weinstein

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...I kick box in my free time 

For fun, I like to...spend time in the mountains camping, kayaking, skiing, climbing fourteeners, and just enjoying the fresh air

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...L.L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto. He holds a unique position as the creator of the most widely spoken constructed auxiliary language in the world, and as such presents an interesting character.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...either my 6th grade Math teacher or 11th and 12th grade English teacher because they both created an environment that encouraged students to independently confront issues in creative ways. In English, about a third of the class would stay after class to continue discussing different topics with the teacher

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Duolingo and Morse Coach to continue learning Esperanto and to start learning German and morse code

After high school, my next step is...to attend MIT and major in Computer Science and possibly Brain and Cognitive Science as well. I also hope to travel and study abroad in Spain, Ireland, or really anywhere

In ten years, I see myself...working with a company that allows me to work on creative solutions to intriguing questions connected to psychological and physical health. I may also have completed graduate school.

My greatest dream is...to build a machine that can shrink and enlarge matter to resolve any problem ranging from pollution to resource competition. But more realistically, I aspire to contribute to society on a large scale by working on programs that help research, diagnose, or treat different aspects of mental and physical health. Current apps like Sea Hero Quest which generates data for Alzheimers research and fantastical creations like the psychoanalytic game in “Ender’s Game” fuel these goals.

My favorite thing about STEM Premier is...the opportunities it provides to connect with different organizations that align with my goals and interests.

We hope for the best for you Anna! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Jonathan Banks

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our previous spotlight was on Kaylee Smith from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Now, it's time for Jonathan Banks from Oak Park, Illinois to shine!

For Jonathan, it's all about making people smile. That's one of the reasons he aspires to attend dental school and become an oral surgeon. He was recently recognized as an Illinois State Scholar, an honor given to the top students in the state. However, his most impressive academic achievement may be his perfect 36 score on the ACT!

When it comes to creating smiles, it's not just about dentistry; Jonathan also authors a blog aimed at inspiring young people to live their best lives. 

Read more about Jonathan below in his own words.

Jonathan Banks

Oak Park, IL

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...My family and I have kept a vegan diet for over 6 years! Since we watched the documentary Forks over Knives that taught us about healthy lifestyles, we decided to change the way we eat and live, and it's been great!

For fun, I like to...make music. I have played saxophone for over eight years, and I just love the feeling of playing music. My favorite is jazz, and playing in my school jazz combo is one of my favorite extracurriculars. I also like blogging, and I try to keep my site updated as often as I can with inspirational blog posts. You can find me at www.jbgreatday.com

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Pythagoras; he seemed to be right about a lot of things.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...Ooh. That's tough. My teachers have been great for pretty much my entire educational experience, and I credit them for my academic success thus far. I'd have to say one of the classes I enjoyed the most was my sophomore honors chemistry class taught by Ms. Cheryl Rulis. She helped make chemistry fun, and every day in that class I felt my understanding grow. She never failed to challenge and push all of her students so we could learn and grow. 

The last app I downloaded on my phone was..."Really Bad Chess." I saw it in the app store, and I think it's pretty cool. It's a fun spin-off of chess, and I like it because it forces me to think about the game I've played for years in a different way. I recommend!

After high school, my next step is...to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago (Go flames!!). I will study biological sciences and go on to dental school so I can ultimately become an oral surgeon. I like smiles a lot, so I want to go into a profession that revolves around helping people smile easier. 

My greatest dream is...To help as many people as possible, as much as possible. I want to help people smile more.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...how it connects students with opportunities that help them grow into the wonderful people we all will soon become. The connections that STEM Premier provide are powerful. 

We hope for the best for you Jonathan! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Kaylee Smith

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Our last spotlight was on Mika Domingo from Mililani, Hawaii. This week, it's time for Kaylee Smith from Stillwater, Oklahoma! 

Music is a big part of life for this aspiring biomedical scientist; Kaylee is a member of three different bands, and can play several instruments! She has been honored as Musician of the Year three times by her high school, and she even serves as Assistant Band Uniform Manager! But her world doesn't revolve solely around sharps and flats. She is also a highly involved mock trial participant, a HOSA member, and Vice President of her National Honor Society chapter. 

She hopes to one day find the cure for some of the world's most debilitating diseases. In fact, she's already decided to get a head start by serving this summer as a laboratory assistant at Oklahoma State University - a school she is currently considering attending. She also is interested in Washington University in St. Louis as well as the University of Tulsa. 

Read more about Kaylee below in her own words.

Kaylee Smith

Junior

Stillwater High School

Stillwater, OK

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I play 6 instruments: oboe, flute, euphonium, English horn, piano, and ukulele!

For fun, I like to...watch videos from my favorite drum corps, Carolina Crown, and hang out with my mini golden doodle, Gus.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Martin Luther King Jr. He made a drastic change in the world, and I think that is so inspiring.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...Mrs. Anderson. Her English class was super fun, and she is still my mock trial coach today!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Google Sheets. I used it in my Environmental Sustainability class as we were doing different tests, like fecal coliform, pH, and ammonia on water sources

After high school, my next step is...pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering with possibly a minor in statistics.

In ten years, I see myself...working in the biomedical research field researching Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. after completing my Ph.D.

My greatest dream is...to cure Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...how students can showcase themselves. I can tailor my platform to be unique for me, and it lets colleges and employers see a little bit about me in a new way.

We hope for the best for you Kaylee! We’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Spotlight: Michigan

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Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 4,700+

  • Top College Interests: University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Grand Valley State University

  • Top Intended Majors: Pre-Med, Nursing, Computer Science

We're heading up to the Wolverine State for our newest State Spotlight for a closer look at STEM Premier students in Michigan. The Great Recession of 2008 hit the state of Michigan especially hard, and 2009 found the state in a severe economic rut. However, Michigan has resiliently bounced back and is now the nation's seventh-fastest growing economy. 

The manufacturing legacy of Michigan lives on, as that industry still represents the largest portion of the state's economy. However, economist have noted that diversification has been one of the factors in helping lift Michigan out of the economic mud. The finance industry, comprising 18% of the state's economy, is right behind manufacturing's 19%. Unemployment in Michigan is currently at a 20-year low. 

Michigan’s largest population of STEM Premier students is located in and around Detroit - which happens to be the hometown of our fantastic partner, SME - with other sizable pockets around Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Flint. However, STEM Premier students are all over the state including it's Northern tip in towns like Traverse City, and in the Upper Peninsula in places like Marquette. Its students tend to have their eyes on the healthcare industry as reflected by the number of related fields among their top career interests; many of them want to be nurses, surgeons, pediatricians, and healthcare support specialists. This is particularly true for STEM Premier user Onyewuchi Ndukwe, a rising high school senior from Detroit, who hopes to become an optometrist and one day return to her home country of Nigeria to create an organization which provides glasses and contact lenses. 

However, true to Michigan's economic legacy, mechanical engineering is also a top choice for the state's students. 

ACT’s 2017 Condition of STEM Report on Michigan indicates that 55% of Michigan’s high school seniors express an interest in STEM, which is above the national average. However, ACT warns, only 56 students who were assessed in the inventory indicated an interest in a career in math or science education. This indicates that the state may face a STEM educator shortage in the coming years. 

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

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Mika Domingo

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Last week, the spotlight was on Matthew Frost from Hood River, Oregon. This week, we're headed way out into the Pacific to shine it on Mika Domingo from Mililani, Hawaii! 

Mika envisions for herself a career in healthcare, and her passion for the field has already taken root. She has already served on the Teen Advisory Council for the Hawaii Meth Project and was involved with the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii. She has also been a reliable volunteer for Kaiser Permanente, assisting in various departments such as the pediatrics ward. Recently, Mika was a qualifier for the 2017 HOSA International Leadership Conference for prepared speaking. 

She recently graduated as valedicatorian of her high school and will be attending Santa Clara Universtiy next fall as a Presidential Scholar. 

Read more about Mika below in her own words.

Mika Domingo

Senior

Mililani High School

Mililani, HI

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Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I am a competitive gymnast! I’ve been doing competitive gymnastics for about 12 years and I am currently a level 9 gymnast. This year I won the all-around state champion title for my age group, and qualified to compete in the Western National Championships. 

For fun, I like to...read and listen to musicals.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Vera Cáslavská. She was an Olympic gymnast, and at the 1968 Olympics she protested the invasion of her home country of Czechoslovakia on the podium.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...my calculus teacher. I’ve had him for AP Calculus BC last year and Calculus 3 this year. He makes math class so enjoyable and I’m very grateful for him. This week, we are using differential equations to make mathematical models where vampires, humans and other species may peacefully coexist.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...the Tamagotchi app

After high school, my next step is...to attend a four-year University (still undecided) to major in biomedical engineering.

In ten years, I see myself...hopefully working in the medical field doing a job I truly enjoy

My greatest dream is...to become a doctor. I’ve had this dream since I was about five years old, and it hasn’t changed yet. I’m not sure what I’d like to specialize in yet but the fields of immunology and infectious disease especially interest me.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...the endless opportunities that you can find on this website. I initially joined to explore HOSA’s opportunities, but I have encountered many other opportunities while using STEM Premier.

We hope for the best for you Mika, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Matthew Frost

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Last time, our spotlight was all about Laura Mulrooney from Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, we're shining it on Matthew Frost from Hood River, Oregon!

An avid robotics enthusiast, Matthew has been a FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics World Championship competitor for two years running, and recently competed in Houston, Texas against other teams from all around the world.

His love for robotics drove him to design a mobile "Fab Lab" which he uses to visit local elementary schools to promote STEM and robotics. As a high school student, his proficiency in mathematics and science has allowed him to tutor college-level students. Talk about flipping the script! It's no wonder that he was voted ""Most Likely to Become The Next Einstein" by his classmates

Read more about Matthew below in his own words.

Matthew Frost

Senior

Hood River Valley High School

Hood River, OR

For fun, I like to...WORK WITH ROBOTICS! So much learning and life skills come out of these activities, and the innovation is so exciting.

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I love writing "To-Do" lists for just about anything. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to recycle the piece of paper with a bunch of completed tasks on it.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Albert Einstein or another scientist who has changed today's world. Watching them invent a brand new technology would be amazing.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...either my 8th grade math teacher who taught us calculus or my 11th/12th grade English teacher who "sometimes" gets off track to teach my class life lessons and important skills.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...a game called Psych to play with my robotics team. I highly recommend it for parties or large groups of people!

After high school, my next step is...to go to college and get a degree in engineering.

In ten years, I see myself...if all goes well, sitting on a beach in the Caribbean, watching the sun appear over the horizon. In reality, I'll probably be sitting at a desk late at night trying to finish up some cool engineering project.

My greatest dream is...helping humanity through engineering.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...the endless opportunities it has.

We hope for the best for you Matthew, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Laura Mulrooney

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

We caught up with Top 100 student Tyler Blake for our most recent spotlight. This week, it's all about Laura Mulrooney from Raleigh, North Carolina!

Laura is an enthusiast of the great outdoors who loves to get her hands dirty while exploring the world around her. She is a volunteer with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences where she has spent the past five years conducting research and presenting her findings. 

She also enjoys the fine arts, spending her free time in choral performance, playing the piano, and practicing several styles of dance. 

She has committed to attend the University of Florida where she intends to major in Geology and Earth Science. 

Read more about Laura below in her own words.

Laura Mulrooney

Senior

Millbrook High School

Raleigh, NC

Laura pauses to snap a quick pic during a day-long hike in Yosemite during spring break.

Laura pauses to snap a quick pic during a day-long hike in Yosemite during spring break.

For fun, I like to...hang out and watch HGTV with my younger brother. 

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I have fought Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD) in my right leg for years. But I have beat it and am able to walk again despite a time when I was told it was unlikely I would be able to. 

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt -they seem like such interesting people who managed to have such a humongous impact on the world and life I know today. 

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...was my 6th grade English teacher- I still use his tricks and techniques today, even in AP English!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s, 'Seafood Watch' app. If that doesn't describe me, I don't know what would lol. 

After high school, my next step is...to go to college in order to learn and explore the different pathways within geology, in order to best determine what I would like to devote my time and research to.

In ten years, I see myself...having built a strong career, that is ready to grow with a good circle of friends and family by my side.

My greatest dream is...to work at the Smithsonian museum as a paleontologist. Wouldn't that be the life!

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...that it allows me to keep all of my accomplishments in one place for whenever I need to pull them out for an application. It also helps me to hold myself accountable and keep everything I do up to my personal standards, all the while allowing me to see the future I am working towards. It's my constant reminder of why I do what I do!

We hope for the best for you Laura, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Tyler Blake

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

We caught up with Top 100 student Jake Chao for our most recent spotlight. This week, we're checking in with Tyler Blake from Provo, Utah. 

Music is a big part of Tyler's life, where he has distinguished himself in both instrumental and vocal performance. His talent on the piano has led him to perform in concert tours of Central America and Southeast Asia , and he has been honored for his ability at the state-wide level several times. He was also named to Utah's All-State Choir, and he serves as president of his school's choir team. Academically, Tyler has earned recognition as a National Merit Scholar as well as an AP Scholar with Distinction.  On the playing field, he serves as captain of his club soccer team. 

He has committed to attending Brigham Young University - where he was awarded the institution's selective Russell M. Nelson Scholarship - beginning this summer. He is interested in pursuing a future in both the musical and psychological fields. 

Read more about Tyler below in his own words.

Tyler Blake

Senior

Timpview High School

Provo, UT

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For fun, I like to...meet new people. I have always been fascinated by people. Everyone has a different story to tell, and each one is worth hearing.  

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I absolutely love animals. I have a pet dog named Chester, and he's definitely one of the highlights of every day. 

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Johann Sebastian Bach. Music is a large part of my life, and Bach is by far my favorite composer to play. It would be an amazing experience to meet him, learn from him, and get a firsthand account of how he composed and played. 

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...my 11th grade english teacher, Mrs. VanOrden. She had a way of creating a classroom environment in which grades were not the focus. Instead, she was able to focus on learning to write, and learning to love writing. There was never any pressure to perform at a certain level. Just a love of writing that she was able to transfer to each of her students. I learned more in that class than I have in any other. 

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...GroupMe. I know it's super boring, but I don't really ever download apps on my phone. GroupMe just lets me have a simple and easy way to manage group texts with various organizations I am a part of. I'd rather be out doing something than looking at a new app on my phone. 

After high school, my next step is...attending Brigham Young University this summer. After this summer, I will be taking a break from college to serve a 2 year LDS mission, after which I will continue to pursue my educational goals at BYU. 

In ten years, I see myself...still in school, working on a doctorate degree. I also see myself married in ten years, possibly with a child. Family has always been a major part of my life, and will continue to be so in ten years.

My greatest dream is...to find a way that I can really make a difference in the world. Whether this is through humanitarian efforts, or simply through my career and research, I want to create a way that I can help thousands upon thousands of people improve their lives. Service has always brought me great joy, and I hope to be able to continue to find ways to serve more and more people throughout my life. 

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...it helps you to organize your portfolio. While completing college and scholarship applications throughout the last year, there was a lot of different aspects of my life that I needed to write about. STEM Premier gave me an opportunity to organize the highlights of my life in a concise and simple manner that helped me to organize my ideas for any essays I needed to write for college. 

We hope for the best for you Tyler, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Jake Chao

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Last week, the spotlight was on Paige Davis from Kansas. Now it's Jake Chao who's next up! Hailing from Cypress, California, Jake has excelled both inside and outside the classroom. As a talented public speaker, Jake has competed on debate teams, mock trial teams, and was elected as student body president of his school. He was also named the Youth Leadership America Speaker of the Year. He is a National Merit Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. Athletically, he has been honored as a leader of his cross country team as well as his track and field team. 

Read more about Jake below in his own words.

Jake Chao

Senior

Oxford Academy

Cypress, CA

Jake (left) with his friends after their annual Senior Citizens Prom, a dance they help coordinate, which allows students to dance and interact with the elderly at a local senior citizen center.  

Jake (left) with his friends after their annual Senior Citizens Prom, a dance they help coordinate, which allows students to dance and interact with the elderly at a local senior citizen center.  

For fun, I like to...run and watch MasterChef. I am slowly getting better at cooking! 

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I am red-green colorblind! 

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...Jeff Bezos. After reading about Amazon in the book The Everything Store, I have taken Jeff Bezos as the model to follow in innovation and work ethic. 

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...Mr. Jun Cuenca. He truly cares for his students, and his dedication to the organizations he advises is beyond belief. Thank you Mr. Cuenca!

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...Attendify. I downloaded it to use at the HOSA State Leadership Conference in Anaheim!

After high school, my next step is...attend college at Stanford University. I hope to pursue a degree in economics and possibly create a startup. 

In ten years, I see myself...working hard in life to attain success. I might still be working for an education, but I hope to be making my way in the business world. 

My greatest dream is...to learn how to cook! I am slowly getting better at it, but I want to have one signature dish that I've mastered. 

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...its downloadable report of my profile! It works as a resume when I need to fill out other applications.

We hope for the best for you Jake, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!

STEM Premier Top 100 Spotlight: Paige Davis

We were proud to recently unveil the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100 students.   

Hailing from all across the nation, the students of the Top 100 represent a wide variety of talent, skills, and backgrounds. We wanted to get to know these students better and showcase the personalities behind the STEM Premier platform!

Last week, we shined the spotlight on Sophia Reck from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. This week, Paige Davis from Derby, Kansas takes center stage! One of the top students in the entire state, Paige is a highly engaged member of both Project Lead The Way and HOSA - Future Health Professionals who has committed to attend the University of North Texas. She was recognized by the Wichita Business Journal as one of their "Young Achievers" and was one of only three students from her high school to be named as a National Merit Finalist!

Read more about Paige below in her own words.

Paige Davis

Senior

Derby High School

Derby, KS

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For fun, I like to...binge-watch my favorite shows on Netflix or go to the movies. 

Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I am a self-proclaimed concert junkie. I have been to three in the last six months alone and I already have five more planned for the rest of the year--my bank account does not thank me. 

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet...my favorite female scientist, Rosalind Franklin, who significantly contributed to our understanding of DNA, RNA, and viruses.

The best teacher I’ve ever had is...my Project Lead The Way biomedical pathway teacher, Mrs Long.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was...the puzzle game Monument Valley 2. 

After high school, my next step is...to go to the University of North Texas to pursue a degree in biology with a concentration in pre-med. 

In ten years, I see myself...beginning my first job in the 'real-world.' Though I know my plans may change throughout college, right now the plan is to become a medical researcher. 

My greatest dream is...to be able to have a home and work life that makes me happy and the ability to travel on a semi-regular basis. 

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...being able to organize all of my accomplishments in a neat and visually-pleasing format.

We hope for the best for you Paige, and we’re proud to have you be a STEM Premier user and part of the 2018 STEM Premier Top 100!