STEM recruiting

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 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 Spotlight: Oklahoma

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Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 3,500+
  • Top College Interests: University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Tulsa
  • Top Intended Majors: Nursing, Mechanical Engineering, Biology, Computer Science

April’s State Spotlight takes us to the Midwest and the Sooner State for a closer look at STEM Premier students in Oklahoma. The vast plains of Oklahoma may mislead you into believing that the state primarily is focused on agriculture, but that would be inaccurate.

The public sector currently comprises the largest portion of Oklahoma’s economy, accounting for roughly 16% of the state’s GDP in 2016. Outside of the government, mining, manufacturing, trade, and finance are Oklahoma’s predominant industries. Oklahoma’s economy has steadily grown over the past fifteen years, and now comprises a larger portion of the total U.S. economy than it did in 2002.

Oklahoma’s largest population of STEM Premier students is located in the state capitol of Oklahoma City, while other hubs exist in Tulsa and Norman. 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.

ACT’s 2017 Condition of STEM Report on Oklahoma indicates that 47% of Oklahoma’s high school seniors express an interest in STEM, which is in line with the national average. However, the report notes, only 16% of students had both an expressed interest in STEM as well as an ACT Interest Inventory score which indicated proficiency in a STEM field. This may foreshadow a dearth of in-state STEM talent in the coming years; something STEM employers may want to take note of.

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

ACT Releases 2017 Report on The Condition of STEM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Research Reveals STEM Workforce Trends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEM Premier Spotlight: Nickie Daves

We’ve recently been spotlighting some of the incredible K-12 educators we have had the privilege of working with. These are energetic, forward-thinking, and fun individuals who have implemented the STEM Premier platform in their schools, districts, and counties.

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

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

                            Nickie Daves, RN, CCRN

                     Floyd. D. Johnson Technology Center

                               York School District

                               York, South Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Spotlight: Tashiba Pearson

Last, month, we began a series of blog posts in order 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.

In June, we heard from Dr. Sean Alford, Superintendent of the Aiken County Public School District, who gave us his take on STEM Premier from an administrator’s point-of-view. This month, we want to shine the spotlight on someone who works directly with students to help them develop their professional plans and goals.

Tashiba Pearson is a passionate and dedicated educator, and a big fan of STEM Premier. Let’s see what she has to say about implementing STEM Premier in her school.

                                    Tashiba Pearson                           Career Development Facilitator                         York Comprehensive High School                                     York, South Carolina

                                    Tashiba Pearson

                       Career Development Facilitator

                     York Comprehensive High School

                                York, South Carolina

Tell us about your role with the school or district that you are involved with.
As the Career Development Facilitator (CDF), it is my role to prepare students for the workforce. I do this through career assessments, resume and cover letter writing, exposing students to non-traditional careers, and implementing career events and programming.

How did you get into education? What drew you to the profession?
I decided to get into education because I wanted to help students prepare for their future. My current role as a CDF allows me to work directly with students on job coaching and preparing them for the workforce.

What is your favorite thing about education?
My favorite thing about education is that it gives me an opportunity to partner with students and help them achieve their goals. I recognize that I don’t necessarily know what is best for any individual student. Success is when a student allows me to work as a team with them to reach their goals.

Tell us about your school!
York Comprehensive High School (YCHS) is an amazing school located in York, SC, which is a picturesque upcountry town in one of the largest historic districts in the United States. Located near both Charlotte NC and Rock Hill SC, the benefits of small town life mingle with the opportunities that larger cities provide. We have over 1600 students at our school. Students at YCHS are fortunate in that our technology center, Floyd D. Johnson, is housed in the same building.  Students at YCHS are able to take Advanced Placement, Honors Courses and Dual Credit courses.

How is STEM Premier helping/will help your school or district?
STEM Premier came to YCHS in March 2017 to roll out their platform in our school. Since that time, I have been contacted by businesses who are using STEM Premier to recruit students for positions with immediate openings. STEM Premier has given students a platform that allows them to connect with local employers and colleges.

Any neat stories so far?                                                                                                  I had a student come to my office and show me his STEM Premier app on his phone. He was very excited to show me that his profile had been viewed by a local company. The next day this student informed me that his profile was now being followed by this company. The student is a senior who will be graduating in May and his next step is to enter the workforce. STEM Premier allowed this student to directly connect with a potential employer and now he is one step closer to securing a career before graduating high school.

How did you implement STEM Premier? Are there any suggestions you would have for  other schools on how to best implement STEM Premier?
At YCHS we implemented STEM over a two-day period. We pre-assigned students to computer labs and facilitated rotating students in and out of the lab. STEM Premier staff led the roll-out and helped students to create profiles. We printed transcripts and gave them to students so they would have accurate information to enter into their profile.

My suggestion to other schools would be to “organize, organize, organize.” Rollout went smoothly at YCHS because we pre-assigned students to labs, we planned for how long students would be in the lab. We made a spreadsheet outlining which lab students were assigned to. We also had administration standing in the halls helping to direct students to computer labs.

What is your favorite part of the system?
My favorite part of the system is the Red Kite area. I love how accessible it makes scholarships. I often hear students say “I didn’t apply because I didn’t know about that scholarship” or “I wasn’t sure if I qualified”. This area eliminates those problems because it pre-populates scholarships that the student is qualified for.

What has your experience been with the STEM Premier team?
The STEM Premier staff who came to YCHS and helped with the rollout of STEM Premier were absolutely AMAZING. They were fun and energetic and the students responded well to them. It was evident that they were not trying to “sell” us on a product or system. They were passionate about STEM Premier and the ways it could benefit YCHS students. Prior to implementiation, they were all very helpful and were always available to answer any questions we had. I have seen their staff in the community at different events and they are like family now. I can always call on anyone on their team and get an immediate response.

What is the future impact that STEM Premier will have on your school or district?
STEM Premier will help YCHS students display their talents and academic success on a platform that will lead to job offers and connections with colleges and schools. STEM Premier will help students graduate with job offers in hand.

Tallo 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 Tallo can do for them.

This week, we want to tell you the story of Cody Corneglio from Peru, Illinois, and how Tallo inspired him to dramatically change his future plans and find a new “family.”

Cody’s Tallo story began shortly after completing the ACT Test. He received an email from ACT inviting him to create a free Tallo 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 Tallo client, was interested in identifying and recruiting talented students for their nation-wide apprenticeship program. With Tallo, 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 Tallo 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 Tallo is...it gives students the chance to get their name out there and find opportunities they would not know about otherwise.

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!

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.

STEM Premier Powers Boeing's Inaugural STEM Signing Day

Signing Day. No off-season affair is more important for collegiate athletic programs and their fans than the day when their future stars sign their commitments.

The pens are ready. Ball caps sit patiently, ready to be donned by bright-eyed prospects with grand dreams.

For South Carolina’s star students, their own day has finally come.

On May 9, the inaugural Boeing STEM Signing Day took place on the South Carolina State House grounds in Columbia. Just like signing days for athletes, over fifty high school seniors from across the state inked their letters of intent to pursue a career in STEM. Inside the Edgar Brown Building, elected officials as well as business and community leaders looked on like proud coaches and parents, envisioning incredible futures for these students. All of these students will be attending a 2-year or 4-year college to continue their STEM education.

For us at STEM Premier, it was a vision made reality. As part of an amazing collaborative partnership, Boeing utilized the STEM Premier platform to identify and personally invite star students to participate. From over 400 applications - all managed within STEM Premier - seventy were chosen to attend and make their mark on the future of STEM.

“Boeing is honored to help lift up and recognize the achievements and next steps of some of our state’s brightest minds – students who will eventually lead the way as we advance innovation and technology in the 21st century,” said Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager.

The inaugural Boeing STEM Signing Day marks the beginning of a tradition which we hope students, industry leaders, and officials look forward to each year. We wish the best of luck to each of the participants, and are proud to call them STEM Premier students.

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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.

STEM Premier Spotlight: North Carolina

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,500+
  • Next Steps: 4-Year College (85%), Career/Technical College (4%), Enter the Workforce (1%), Enter the Military (1%), Other (9%) 
  • Top College Interests: UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, East Carolina University, Duke University, UNC-Charlotte
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Nursing,Computer Science

The Tar Heel State is the next stop in our series of state spotlights! Having recently surpassed 2,500 student members on the STEM Premier platform, North Carolina isn’t just about college basketball anymore!

Among North Carolina’s student users are 275 Project Lead the Way students, 180 National Honor Society members, and 175 members of HOSA - Future Health Professionals.

North Carolina’s student users come from far and wide across the state, from Kitty Hawk (home of the Wright Brother’s own little STEM project…) all the way west to Murphy near the Tennessee border. And while the state’s larger cities, such as Charlotte and Raleigh, boast high concentrations of users, it’s important to note that rural areas have just as much of a footprint in our student database.

The top occupational interests of North Carolina’s students include surgery, nursing, pediatrics, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

According to ACT’s Condition of STEM Report, North Carolina’s student interest in the STEM fields has remained steady over the past few years at 50%, but continues to outpace the national average of 48%. The steadiness of student interest can be attributed to a decline of student interest in the medical and science fields, but also a substantial increase in the engineering, mathematics, and computing fields.

Read ACT’s entire Condition of STEM Report for North Carolina

STEM Premier Spotlight: Alabama

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 3,400+
  • Top College Interests: Auburn University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama
  • Top Intended Majors: Pre-Medicine, Nursing, Computer Science

The talent population on STEM Premier continues to grow, which means that our student base continues to increase in diversity; especially geographic diversity. Over 200,000 high school and college-level students across the country are showcasing themselves on the platform.

Alabama is the focus of our next state spotlight. Among the Yellowhammer State’s 3400+ STEM Premier users are 260 National Honor Society members, 175 members of HOSA - Future Health Professionals, and 93 FBLA members.

While STEM Premier students can be found virtually anywhere in the state, the largest concentration of students can be found in the state’s major population centers of Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, and Huntsville - home of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The top occupational interests of Tennessee’s students include surgery, nursing, mechanical engineering, pediatrics, physical therapy, and aerospace engineering.

According to ACT’s Condition of STEM Report, Alabama’s student interest in the STEM fields (52%) continues to outpace the national average (48%). This trend is powered by growing interest in the computer science, mathematics, and engineering fields. This sets Alabama apart from other states whose student interest lies primarily in the medical and health fields.

Read ACT’s entire Condition of STEM Report for Alabama.

STEM Premier Student Spotlight: Akporesiri Omene

STEM Premier is proud to partner with professional and educational national organizations across the country. These partnerships enhance the effectiveness of our engagement with students in a mutually beneficial way. As a result, students are better able to leverage experience gained from their organization involvement and showcase themselves more effectively to colleges and industries. 

This week, we took the time to interview Akporesiri Omene from Chicago, Illinois. Akporesiri is a student at the Illinois Institute of Technology majoring in civil engineering. While in high school, he was a highly-involved member of ACE Mentor Program of America - a proud partner of ours! ACE Mentor Program fosters and mentors students who wish to pursue careers in architecture, construction, and engineering. With STEM Premier, Akporesiri can stay connected with ACE Mentor Program; even after his participation in high school. 

We wanted to learn more from Akporesiri about his involvement with ACE and STEM Premier, so we checked in to ask him a few questions. Read what he had to say below.

Why did you join ACE?

I joined ACE because I was unsure if I wanted to go into engineering or another field. I wanted to make sure that I wanted to get into the career path that was best for me. Also, I was attracted to the interactivity of the program and the fact that it has a hands-on approach to learning architecture and engineering.

What do like most about being part of ACE?

The companies that we worked with proved to be a huge networking resource. It’s not everyday that you get to work alongside professionals in your desired career path.

This mentorship had a twofold impact. The first was that we had the opportunity to gain insider knowledge about the industry so that we could get a feel of what we wanted to do. The second was that it provided an opportunity to look to our mentors for job opportunities and further mentoring.

As a bonus, I was able to get into the design-build program that ACE offers every year. I’m glad that I was a part of it, because my year happened to produce the largest and most successful design-build project in the organization’s history.

How has STEM Premier enhanced your involvement with ACE?

STEM Premier has allowed me to continue being a part of ACE. Although I am not an active member anymore, it is still nice to be a part of a community of like-minded, ambitious, and goal-oriented students and mentors. STEM Premier has made it easier for me to keep in contact with my previous mentors and contribute to the ACE Mentor community.


We were excited to hear how important of a role ACE and STEM Premier have played in Akporesiri’s professional endeavors. However, we also wanted Akporesiri to be able to show off his personality a bit, so here’s more about him in his own words!

Something you wouldn't know about me is…that I enjoy listening to music and walking in the drenching rain, especially after a long, stressful day. It’s very tranquil and surreal.

For fun, I like to….I listen to J-Pop and J-Rock (Japanese Pop and Rock music).

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meetformer President Barack Obama and his family. It would be clutch to hang and chill with a Chicago native and learn about what it’s like to be President, and about life in general.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….Mr. Craig. He was my high school math teacher. I appreciated how he took complicated math concepts and broke it down so that I could understand. He was also just a cool and chill guy in general.
 

The last app I downloaded on my phone was….Instagram. I’m getting more into it, to be honest.

After high school, my next step isto gain connections, skills, and experience both inside and outside of my university curriculum in order to become one of the best engineers out there.

In ten years, I see myself….travelling the world and performing engineering work around the globe wherever the need is the greatest.

My greatest dream isto revolutionize the infrastructure of Chicago, the United States, and eventually the world.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most iswell, what’s there NOT to love?

Thanks for catching up with us Akporesiri! We wish you the best as you pursue your studies and your dreams of revolutionizing the world. Keep up the great work!

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Construction

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 construction industry.

Construction is an area primed to grow quickly over the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in construction-related occupations will grow ten percent between 2014 and 2024, which outpaces the average growth for all occupations. In terms of jobs, this will mean an increase of approximately 700,000 from 6.5 million to 7.2 million.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on the policies of Donald Trump’s incoming administration in regards to infrastructure development. The President-Elect has previously announced plans to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure development; a package which would further increase the need for additional construction jobs. This is excellent news for trade and technical schools who offer educational programming poised to meet this new demand. 

It also makes organizations such as ACE Mentor Program - which seeks to connect high school students with professionals in the architecture, construction, and engineering fields - all the more vital. 

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

  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Construction Equipment Operators
  • HAZMAT Removal Specialists
  • Plumbers

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

ACT Releases Condition of STEM 2016 Report

A new year brings with it new resolutions, new opportunities, and new challenges.

It also brings new insights.

Recently, our friends at ACT released the 2016 edition of their National Condition of STEM Report.

The report compiles data from the nationwide administration of the ACT® test to the high school graduating class of 2016 - taken by a record 64% of students - along with it’s accompanying ACT Interest Inventory, which measures each ACT test taker’s interest in different educational and occupational areas.

The Interest Inventory provides an opportunity for ACT to quantify the expressed interests of students (those which the students specifically identify themselves) in these areas as well as measured interests (based on answers to the Inventory’s questions). The results allow ACT to determine levels of interest in STEM fields as well as to compare the college readiness levels between these subsets of students.

So what did ACT find out in their Condition of STEM 2016 Report? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Students with an interest in STEM continue to show higher levels of college readiness than ACT-tested students as a whole.
  • Approximately half (48%) of ACT-tested U.S. graduates in the class of 2016 have expressed interest in STEM majors and careers. This level of interest has remained steady over the past five years.
  • Under-served learners have a high interest in STEM, but ACT STEM benchmark attainment lags far behind their peers.

Perhaps one of the most concerning stats from this year’s report is that only 1,258 students (less than 1% of the 2.1 million tested) had both an expressed and measured interest in becoming a math or science teacher. The lack of students interested in teaching STEM subjects to younger generations presents an alarming paradox for the future of STEM education in the U.S., and makes initiatives such as the 100Kin10 Network necessary.

Like we said, new years always bring new challenges. But STEM Premier and ACT are at the ready to transform these challenges into opportunities for today’s students and tomorrow’s professionals.

Read ACT’s National Condition of STEM 2016 Report.