Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. . . STEM!

STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. It's no wonder that STEM college and career pathways are so important to consider!

Think about what career choices interest you. Are there STEM components to those careers?
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Technology + Artistry 
This LaGrange Louisiana CFES Scholar designed and created
the bulletin board as an extension of her Digital Media class.

Featured Video

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a science or engineering job? Check out the video series "Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers" for a firsthand look at dozens of STEM careers and the people who chose them.
Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers
Here's just one:
Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth
Matt Denton is an electronics and software engineer who has combined his love for movies and engineering in his career.
If you were to combine your hobby with a STEM career, what would you be?

College Corner

Click the campus photo above for a virtual tour of the
United States Military Academy at West Point.
The social media sites below can help you get a feel
for what it's like to be a West Point cadet. 

Interesting Stuff About West Point

  • West Point is is the oldest continuously-operating Army post in the United States.
  • The entire central campus is a national landmark.
  • Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as "cadets."
  • Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation.
  • USMA West Point was the first American college to have an accredited civil-engineering program.
  • Cadets compete in one sport every fall, winter, and spring season at the intramural, club, or intercollegiate level.
  • All cadets graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Boston students learned to assemble and program robots at a recent CFES West Point Robotics Workshop. 

Are you ready for STEM pathways through college and career?

Quiz me!

Ways to help pay for college

What if getting an A in algebra was worth $120?

With the resource below, it is (at least, once you get to college). Raise.Me works with about 100 college partners to award "micro scholarships" for high school achievements. For each achievement you log to your profile, you’ll get scholarships from different colleges, which you can redeem when you attend that college.

Check out the link below for to see how much your high school achievements can earn you!
For any STEM career, you're going to need to pick up a lot of knowledge and skills! Whether you plan to be an aeronautical engineer, a pediatrician, or a food scientist, your particular set of college courses will help you gain the "hard skills" you'll need on the job.  

If you are interested in getting a jump start on some of these skills, check out a free platform like Khan Academy to lay the groundwork for your college courses in subjects like computer programming, economics, electrical engineering, and organic chemistry.
Khan Academy
In addition to hard skills, you are going to need some "essential skills" (also called soft skills) to succeed at college and career.

Essential skills — things like communication, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, leadership, and creativity — can be easily developed in your STEM classes, you just need to know how! Although you may not be aware of it, you're learning essential skills like time management and critical thinking when you succeed at organizing an experiment or collaborating with your peers.

Skills to Pay the Bills

The U.S. Department of Labor defines six essential skill areas:

1. Communication
2. Enthusiasm and Attitude
3. Teamwork
4. Networking
5. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
6. Professionalism

Other references will list a number of other qualities as well, such as leadership, creativity, and flexibility. What would you add to your own list of essential skills?
Because you're gaining these skills while learning, you may not be great at tapping into them in other situations in your life, like a job interview or internship. Here are three tips for making sure your essential skills are getting the workout they need:
  1. Be Aware. Just like hard skills, essential skills take time and practice to develop. It’s easy to take politeness or professionalism for granted as an aspect of personality, but many of these attributes are cultivated through experience. Rate yourself for each of the soft skills and identify areas in which you would like to improve. Periodically set time aside to reflect on your development of these skills. Ask yourself: what activities have helped strengthen my skills?
  2. Take on leadership positions in the classroom, broader school government, and out in the real world. The ability to handle larger responsibilities and solve problems is difficult to come by without actual practice in those areas. Things like serving on the board of a club, running for school government, and internship and working on service opportunities are all great ways to flex your essential skill muscles. 
  3. Remember that mistakes and setbacks are an important part of learning. Words like “enthusiasm” and “attitude” sometimes seem a bit vague. How does anyone learn essential skills like those? The truth is that having a “good attitude” can simply refer to an ability to admit and correct your mistakes without becoming defensive or angry.  Mistakes are an inevitable and essential part of the learning process.
*information above adapted from

"Science is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.”

- Jules Verne, science fiction author

 Thank you for reading, we'll see you
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It's ok, Science Dog, we all feel that way sometimes.
The important thing is to keep learning. . . and
keep your coffee cup away from your lab bench!
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