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STEM-Centric Career Assessments

It’s almost impossible to turn on the television without hearing news or advertisements about the United States’ upcoming election. It is certainly a privilege to live in a society where there is an effort to build a government “for the people”. With this privilege also comes responsibility.

Read Arthur Camins article “Why Science Education is Essential for Democracy” to consider the ways STEM education influences important political decisions that impact humanity. Let’s create education systems that promote positive change in and for this world.

What are possible research and career paths if you are a student interested in STEM? Not surprisingly, the opportunities are endless and ever-changing. Read Hailey’s story to identify with a scientist who followed their passion for biology and is now thriving in her research on genetic diseases. There are many diverse paths you can take to find a career you love; hearing personal stories from scientists is one way you can begin to find your way!

Colorado State University cell and molecular biology Ph.D. student Hailey Conover does research on DNA repair using yeast as a model in Environmental and Radiological Science assistant professor Lucas Argueso's lab, December 17, 2015.

Colorado State University cell and molecular biology Ph.D. student Hailey Conover does research on DNA repair using yeast as a model in Environmental and Radiological Science assistant professor Lucas Argueso’s lab, December 17, 2015.

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Did you know that women are just as biased against female STEM students as men? This bias can even be communicated implicitly through language used in letters of recommendation. Read this simple this info-graphic to learn more about how you can better support your students in their vocational pursuits by providing them with bias-free letters of recommendation that accurately showcase their accomplishments. With simple tips like staying away from stereotyped language and emphasizing accomplishments instead of effort, you can begin to accurately articulate your student’s capacity for a successful STEM career.

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Reading a scientific paper is incredibly different from many other forms of writing – and can often feel like a daunting task. However, there are several ways to become an effective article reader without becoming overwhelmed by unfamiliar terms and concepts. Check out this article from Science Magazine to learn how you can further develop your scientific reading skills. You won’t regret taking the time to learn these tricks now, so that you can read and write in Science stress-free!

According to U.S. News, vacancies in STEM jobs are continuing to go unfilled in large numbers. This is a key piece of knowledge relevant for students undergoing career decision processes, as well as for parents/counselors who are responsible for helping individuals navigate important career decisions. The fact is, with STEM job availability being more than twice the national average, students in STEM majors are more likely to be employed out of college and are some of the highest paid employees in the nation.

If you have the ability and interest, think twice when you are making – or advising – major career decisions. The fields of science, technology, engineering and math are highly diverse; requiring many different skillsets and interests. Take time to explore these careers to see if one is a good fit for you!

Photo Credit: South China Morning Post

Nations all over the world are taking measures to address the lack of workers in the STEM fields. An example is Hong Kong’s new classroom model for kindergartners – that is, to have no classroom. Hong Kong Forest Kindergarten is among several nature-based nurseries advocating for the power of outdoor play. The advocates claim children in this age group are in a critical period of development where engagement in exploration and nature can dramatically increase creativity, innovation, confidence. Ironically, these are critical skills that are needed to be successful in the field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Click Here to learn more about Hong Kong’s new breed of kindergartners, and how they may be experiencing more positive learning outcomes than students in the “traditional” classroom model of education.

Closing the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics seems to be a common theme in the U.S. as well as cross-nationally. For example, toys gendered for young girls are now being geared towards building, computing math, and exploring the natural sciences. Additionally, multiple programs exist at a national level encouraging middle and high school women to participate in camps to build confidence and break down barriers that hold them back from pursuing innovation and leadership.

However, what support is out there for Postdoctoral students nearing the end of their role as a part of a university research team? Most of the time these students have been sequestered away in lab, spending all of their time focused on their research tasks, gaining a plethora of knowledge in their specific content area. In regards to the next step, there’s a large learning curve that must be addressed to aid in the shift from “lab rat” to full-time faculty.

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Up until recently, the majority of human development literature on masculinity and femininity has held to the assumption that males and females are inherently different from one other (Schock & Schwalbe, 2009). That is, research has spent an ample amount of time focusing on constructing and disseminating the concept of “gender roles”. This view of male and female as different and opposite has deep historical roots that affect the types of research questions scientist study, thus affecting the material that the  general public recieves (Mustin & Marecek, 1988). Science forwarding the concept of “gender roles” has numerous implications in forwarding gender stereotypes and social inequality. More specifically “gendered” research is a convincing explanation that has been offered for explaining the gender gap in engineering, mathematics, computer science, and physics (Hyde, 2013).

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