STEM talent

Tallo Spotlight: Randelle Thompson

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Less than a year ago, we featured Tallo organizational user Tidelands Health. Based out of Georgetown, South Carolina, Tidelands decided to partner with us in order to place themselves on students’ radars. “[STEM Premier] will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” said Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition, at the time.

That’s just what they’re doing. By utilizing our digital ecosystem to provide scholarship opportunities for students interested in healthcare, they’ve found exactly the kind of students they’ve been looking for; students like Randelle Thompson!

Randelle is one of Tideland’s recent scholarship recipients. A native of Myrtle Beach, Randelle wasn’t all that familiar with the Tidelands healthcare system, which is headquartered 35 miles away in Georgetown. It was during her senior year of high school that she really began to take notice and consider a future career with the organization. The scholarship opportunities Tidelands made available on STEM Premier solidified her interest. “I would check the website periodically to see if any scholarship opportunities were available,’ she explains. “That’s when I applied for the scholarship with Tidelands Health.”

The aspiring nurse graduated last May from Myrtle Beach High School and is currently attending Horry Georgetown Technical College. She will soon be working for Tidelands Health. But first, she wants to take advantage of the opportunities college has to offer her.

“My plan for next year is to perfect my techniques in the nursing program I’m enrolled in,” she says, “I also plan to join the honors society and other clubs as well.”

Read more about Randelle below in her own words!

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I have an accent!

For fun, I like to….read or listen to music.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…the head nurse of a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida because that’s where I’d love to live and work someday.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….my probability and statistics teacher during my senior year of high school. She was was always supportive of me and my aspirations.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was…the McGraw-Hill Connect app.

In ten years, I see myself….managing a department of whichever hospital I happen to find myself for.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...their ability to see potential in students.

Congratulations Randelle on your scholarship! We know you’ll be an awesome nurse (and hospital manager) one day!

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Social Sciences

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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 social sciences.

 Although the social sciences and humanities have recently been the object of some derision - especially amid the debate over how well U.S. universities are adequately preparing students for work in the modern economy - they are still extremely relevant. The social sciences are comprised of a variety of disciplines delving into the “softer” aspects of our world - as opposed to “hard” sciences such as physics, chemistry, or biology. These include cultural, sociological, and historical research areas.

 Here’s just a few examples of the social science occupations which have captured the attention of STEM Premier students:

  • Archaeologists
  • Economists
  • Historians
  • Geographers
  • Political Scientists
  • Anthropologists

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

 

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 Business Spotlight: Tidelands Health

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Tidelands Health is committed to more than just its patients. It is also committed to its employees and communities. Comprised of three hospitals, more than fifty outpatient locations, and over 2,000 employees and physician partners, Tidelands Health is one of coastal South Carolina’s largest healthcare systems. It is also one of the newest organizations to join STEM Premier's growing network as it seeks to build relationships with South Carolina students interested in pursuing the healthcare vocation.  . 

Tideland Health’s mission of helping people live better lives through better health began more than sixty years ago in Georgetown, SC. In 1946, citizens of Georgetown committed to constructing a hospital to serve the local community. That commitment came to life in 1950, when the first patient was admitted at Georgetown County Memorial Hospital - later to become Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital. Since then, the hospital has expanded and two additional hospitals have become a part of the system: Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital and Tidelands Waccamaw Rehabilitation Hospital. Over its sixty-year history, the system has provided healthcare to countless patients.

While its patients are always the #1 priority, Tidelands Health also prioritizes and invests in its employees. “We are focused on creating an environment where professional development is encouraged, innovation is rewarded and a healthy work-life balance is nurtured,” explains Busy Kimball, Manager of Talent Acquisition at Tidelands Health.

That's why Tidelands Health wants to be known amongst South Carolina’s students - and future healthcare professionals - so that they consider it when planning their futures. “We are excited to partner with STEM Premier and believe it will help us deepen our relationship within the region by introducing Tidelands Health to members of the community at a young age,” says Busy. “Though this partnership, we will provide financial support and educational opportunities to prepare young people in our area for a future in health care.”

These educational opportunities include internships, mentorships, and shadowing so that students can get first-hand experiences of what it’s like to work for Tidelands. The goal is to connect interested young students with experts in health-related fields and introducing them to the large variety of career paths available in healthcare.  

Busy says that prospective employees of should be self-driven and open-minded. “Tidelands Health is looking for self-motivated individuals with an interest in health care, a positive, customer service-focused attitude and a sense of pride in their work,” she explains. “In addition, we choose to support and hire individuals who demonstrate an openness to diversity and project a sense of inclusion for individuals unlike themselves.”

By prioritizing these criteria in their hiring process, Tidelands Health has built a network of professionals who are ready and willing to engage outside of the workplace. For prospective employees, becoming part of Tidelands Health also means becoming a part of the community. “Beyond our hospitals,” says Busy, “we partner with the community to deliver health and wellness services. Through the Tidelands Health Sports Medicine Institute, for example, we fund athletic trainers in area high schools...and our Tidelands Community Care Network, a regional collaborative of more than 30 community service organizations, churches, associations and state agencies, connects our region’s uninsured and underinsured residents with medical care and critical services such as food, housing and transportation.”

STEM Premier is excited to welcome Tidelands Health to our network, and we look forward to the enhanced engagement it will provide for students pursuing professions in healthcare; such as those involved with our partner HOSA.  

Looking Closer: Student Interest in Environmental Sciences and Wildlife

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STEM Premier Connections: Inspiring the Future of Healthcare

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STEM Premier isn’t just about recruiting. It’s also about helping students fulfill their dreams. Often times, connecting a student with a life-changing opportunity is more impactful than connecting them with a school or employer.

Smriti Moorjani, a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has never doubted her ambition to be a doctor. It’s a goal which inspired her to get involved with HOSA - Future Health Professionals when she was only fourteen years old. “A majority of upperclassmen in my high school were involved in HOSA,” she recalls, “they shared their experiences in this organization, which was really inspiring to learn about.”

Regular membership in the organization quickly led to more involved roles, as she eventually became the organization’s Historian for the entire state of New Jersey. She credits this role as having helped her develop as a leader.

It was Smriti's engagement with HOSA which led her to STEM Premier. “I was interested in applying for certain opportunities in HOSA, and the application was available through STEM Premier.”

One of those opportunities was applying to the HOSA 2017 Public Health Leadership Scholars Program, a unique one-week program through the US Department of Health and Human Services. By being selected, Smriti was able to spend a week in Washington D.C. with like-minded peers gaining knowledge about public health. She met with public health leaders, toured facilities, and discussed a variety of relevant and pressing topics.

“By exposing us to the many sectors within public health, this program helped us better understand the field and how we can incorporate public health in our future careers,” she explains. “At the end of the program, we created final presentations that summarized our experiences and what we learned from this program.”

Smriti also took advantage of STEM Premier to apply for a $2,000 National HOSA Scholarship, which she was awarded. 

She especially appreciates how the STEM Premier platform tailors her user experience based on her profile. “By updating information like my coursework and experiences, it matches me with opportunities.”

Her passion for health care doesn’t end with HOSA. Over the years, Smriti has become involved with a plethora of health-related organizations which have helped her refine her skills and knowledge through service, competition, and mentorship.

At such a young age, she is passionately committed to helping others. And there is a little doubt that she will soon be making an impact on a much larger scale.

Learn a bit more about Smriti in her own words:

Something you wouldn't know about me is...that I enjoy photography.

For fun, I like to….listen to music; it’s a huge stress-reliever!

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…Dr. Sanjay Gupta. I am inspired by his dedication to the healthcare field and want to learn more about his experiences.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was….Mr. Pfeffer, my high school physical science teacher. He is both an outstanding teacher and amazing mentor.

The last app I downloaded on my phone was….Netflix.

In ten years, I see myself….completing my education and training to become a doctor.

My greatest dream is...to wholeheartedly contribute to improving others’ lives.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Wisconsin

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 2,000+
  • Top College Interests: University Of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Top Intended Majors: Biology, Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering

 For this month’s STEM Premier Spotlight, we’re heading North for a closer look at the state of Wisconsin. Home of the University of Wisconsin, considered one of the top public university in the nation, the Badger State’s STEM Premier’s student base is a diverse and accomplished group of students. In fact, one of every ten STEM Premier student users in Wisconsin is a National Honor Society member!

 Wisconsin’s largest concentration of STEM Premier students is located in Milwaukee and its suburbs. Other notable areas of student presence are found in Madison, Green Bay, and the outskirts of Minneapolis-St.Paul on Wisconsin’s side of the border.

 The top occupational interests of Wisconsin’s students include mechanical engineering, biological science, biomedical engineering, pediatrics, and aeronautical engineering.

 ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Wisconsin has shown a slight decrease in overall STEM interest among the state’s students over the past year. This decrease seems to be caused by a shift of interest areas. Interest in the medical sciences has lessened by 5% over the past five years and - at 38% - lags behind the national average of 41%. However, the opposite holds true for interest in the areas of computer science, mathematics, and engineering. Student interest in Wisconsin outpaces the national average in each of these three areas.

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

STEM Premier Announces Partnership with Penn College

To be successful, you have to work with the best. That’s why we are excited to announce our newest partnership. Pennsylvania College of Technology, in collaboration with UGI Utilities Inc., will be using the STEM Premier platform to enhance their STEM recruitment and job placement efforts.

 Pennsylvania College of Technology - also known as Penn College - is a public institution located in Williamsport, PA providing comprehensive, hands-on technical education at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels. After establishing a strong national reputation for workforce development, it became an affiliate institution of Penn State University in 1989. The College currently boasts an enrollment of 5,500 students and a 95% graduate placement rate.

 What makes Penn College a national leader in applied technology education is the commitment to their core values: an emphasis on hands-on education, a student-centered environment, strong business and industry partnerships, and a diverse community built on respect. STEM Premier plans to contribute to these values.   

 “The STEM Premier partnership will be a tremendous asset for both prospective and current students and serve as a valuable tool for employers recruiting our students,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management/associate provost. “As a national leader in applied technology education, we are acutely aware that the workforce needs an influx of STEM talent. Partnering with STEM Premier will help us identify and nurture that talent.”

 “STEM Premier is honored to help foster this partnership between two premier institutions like Pennsylvania College of Technology and UGI,” says STEM Premier Co-Founder John Welch, “to assist students in connecting with employers to not only find a job, but more importantly a career!”

STEM Premier Spotlight: Ujwala Pamidimukkala

It’s always a pleasure keeping up with our STEM Premier student users. The best part is that there are always success stories to highlight.

 Our latest spotlight is on Ujwala Pamidimukkala, a senior at Columbus North High School in Indiana. Ujwala  - one of our 2017 STEM Premier Top 100 -  was recently named as one of the winners of Indiana’s inaugural Governor's STEM Team award.

 As one of four winners from over one hundred applications, Ujwala’s award represents the “Science” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. And deservedly so. She is highly involved with HOSA - Future Health Professionals, and she placed first in both the Medical Math and Pharmacy Tech categories at Indiana’s HOSA state competition.

 Additionally, Ujwala is an AP Scholar with Distinction, President of her school’s Spanish Club, and a member of her high school tennis team. She has already committed to Vanderbilt, where she plans to major in molecular biology and chemistry.

 We caught with Ujwala to hear a little bit more about her in her own words. Here’s what she had to say!

Something you wouldn't know about me is...I follow more golden retrievers than people on Instagram

For fun, I like to….cook all sorts of food from around the world, but I especially love to make desserts.

If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, I would want to meet…Joe Biden because we have a mutual love of ice cream and Ray Ban sunglasses.

The best teacher I’ve ever had was/is….Mr. Dale Nowlin because he's an amazing math teacher and friend

The last app I downloaded on my phone was…Netflix (I LOVE to watch Friends!)

After high school, my next step is...studying molecular biology and chemistry on the pre-med track at Vanderbilt University.

In ten years, I see myself….going through residency and other training to become a cardiovascular surgeon.

My greatest dream is...to positively touch as many lives as I can through a career in cardiovascular surgery.

The thing I like about STEM Premier most is...it is a great place to display all of my credentials and to connect with amazing opportunities.

 Thanks Ujwala! We wish you the best of luck as you pursue your dreams at Vanderbilt!

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!

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

 

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

Learning from the Pros: Getting Social

When it comes to recruiting, collegiate coaches are constantly on the lookout for anything that can help them gain an edge over rivals and competitors.

With the NCAA keeping a close eye on phone calls, text messaging, and in-person visits, it should come as no surprise that programs across the country have taken to the internet to connect with recruits where they are: social media.

What is interesting about the NCAA’s regulation of social media communication is that, instead of tightening down on it - such as it’s done with texting - it has actually given coaches more freedom on the web. Prior to August 2016, coaches were allowed to private message recruits, but could not “publicize” their recruitment by “liking” or sharing a recruit’s posts. They are now allowed to do so.

Here’s the important part: The NCAA officially explained this rule change as being due to the impossible nature of constantly monitoring thousands of social media profiles. However, many believe it was mostly due in part to the fact that social media is by far the preferred medium of communication of high school athletes nowadays.

What makes STEM Premier a powerful tool is that combines the power of a social media platform and professional networking programs into one package. Organizational users can directly connect with prospective students and employees, providing the genuine sense that their talents are being recognized and pursued. This is a far cry from simply making students aware of an organization's opportunities through traditional methods such as job postings and billboards. 

Why does this matter? Because coaches know that if you want to land a recruit, you have to make them feel comfortable with your school. If one program is sending a recruit letters in the mail, while another is actively communicating with them online - where they post, tweet, like, share, and hashtag with their friends - guess which one has the advantage?

Your organization’s recruiting strategy should be no different. Times are changing, and the schools and businesses which simply rely on the “old-school” methods of college and jobs fairs and snail mail to attract talent are going to fall behind.

With STEM Premier,  not only can schools and businesses showcase their programs and opportunities for free via their STEM Premier profile, they can also directly link their profile from more "social" platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Google+. 

With nearly a quarter-million students on STEM Premier, organizations can take a page out of Nick Saban’s playbook and build relationships with these students where they are.

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 iShine Scholarship Spotlight: Julia Holt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Professional HUD: STEM Premier's Student Dashboard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

STEM Premier Spotlight: Indiana

Quick Facts:

  • STEM Premier Secondary-Level Students: 1,600+
  • Top College Interests: Purdue University, Indiana University, Ball State University, Butler University, University of Notre Dame
  • Top Intended Majors: Computer Science, Pre-Medicine, Biology, Nursing

This week’s STEM Premier spotlight brings us to the Hoosier State, home of the world-famous Indianapolis 500 automobile race. Speaking of automobiles, we were proud to announce in September a fantastic partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana (TMMI) and Vincennes University who are utilizing the STEM Premier platform to recruit for TMMI’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program; an education-to-work initiative billed as Indiana’s strongest supportive-manufacturing degree.

Indiana’s STEM Premier’s student base - which includes two hundred National Honor Society members - has a strong presence in the central part of the state. Approximately one-third of student members are located in and around the state’s capital of Indianapolis. However, the remainder of the student base is spread fairly equally; most notably in Ft. Wayne, South Bend, and the southeastern reaches of Chicago where the metropolis has crept across Indiana’s border. The top occupational interests of Indiana’s students include surgeons, mechanical engineers, and registered nurses.

ACT’s 2016 Condition of STEM Report on Indiana finds that the state’s student interest in STEM (52%) exceeds the national average (48%); a trend which is five years running. Of those students interested in the STEM fields, Medical Sciences (42%) and Engineering/Technology (24%) appear to be the most desirable areas.

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