Tips For Students Interested In STEM Programs
It’s no secret that science, technology, engineering, and math jobs are the way of the future. STEM jobs are expected to grow almost 2 times as fast as other occupations, yet some people believe that it has become harder to foster an interest in STEM in high school students today.
With many schools placing a heavy emphasis on test scores and classroom performance, sometimes the problem solving and experimental skills that STEM courses hone can be lost in the shuffle of other classes.
So how do students interested in applying to STEM programs in college keep up their interest while also setting themselves apart from the rest of the applicant pool?
Volunteer In A Research Lab
The easiest way to gain experience in a science field is to actually do some experimentation! Volunteering in a research lab is a great way to gain hands-on experience while also determining exactly what field you may want to pursue in college. Is research your strength? Are you most interested in biology lab work? Or do you find yourself more drawn to fields that emphasize chemistry or physics? Do some research and reach out to labs in your area to see if they accept high school volunteers. A local college or university with a research department is a good place to start.
Participate In Mathematics Competitions
Demonstrate your math skills while also honing them with mathematics competitions and advanced tests. The MAA American Mathematics Competitions like the AMC 10 and AMC 12 are great ways to sharpen your skills while also putting you in the running for higher math competitions like AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination). Participating in competitions and examinations like this show colleges and universities your initiative and dedication to pursuing mathematics in higher education.
Start A Robotics Team
If students see a need for a certain club or organization, one great way to fulfill it is to start it! Through the FIRST Robotics Competition, students can fill a void in STEM extracurriculars by starting their own robotics team. By finding team members, mentors, and sponsors, students have the opportunity to learn the technology, engineering, expertise, and creativity that go into building and competing with your own robot.
Independent Engineering and Science Projects
Again, it’s important for students to identify a need and fulfill it. If you’re interested in green initiatives and engineering, design and build your own wind turbine or develop a new energy saving system. You can even build your own green home. The possibilities are endless for students willing to put in a little extra effort and creativity.
The growth STEM careers shows no signs of slowing down, so foster your interest in math, science, technology, and engineering by taking on new projects, extracurriculars, or competitions to build your knowledge and set yourself apart from the rest of the pack!
What STEM initiatives are you doing this year? Did any of these suggestions spark your interest? Tell us in the comments below!