On National STEM/STEAM Day, we celebrate the incredible progress we have made in the field and acknowledge the importance of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math in shaping our future. The early studies in the early 2000s shed light on the fact that U.S. students were falling behind their peers in STEM, posing a threat to our economy. This recognition prompted educators and policymakers to prioritize STEM education and research in order to bridge this gap.
Thanks to funds granted by the National Governors Association, six states have made it their mission to ensure that every high school student graduates with a solid foundation in STEM for success in higher education. This focus on STEM education has resulted in a significant growth of STEM jobs, outpacing non-STEM jobs threefold. However, it is important to note that despite this growth, there are still gender and racial gaps within the STEM fields that need to be addressed.
In honor of National STEM/STEAM Day, let’s shine a spotlight on some extraordinary women who are making significant contributions in STEAM fields.
Dr. Ami B. Bhatt is the Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is a recognized educator and has played a vital role in designing and building ACHD programs, advocating for collaborative care and accessible healthcare for everyone.
Dr. Ayanna Howard, as the Dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering, has made remarkable contributions to the field of robotics. With a passion for diversifying the engineering profession, she continues to inspire through her research, entrepreneurship, and advocacy.
Professor Nergis Mavalvala, a renowned physicist at MIT, has garnered accolades for her work in gravitational waves and quantum measurement science. Her contributions to physics have earned her a well-deserved place in the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Radhika Nagpal, an Augustine Professor of Engineering at Princeton University, specializes in Swarm Robotics and Collective Intelligence. As a co-founder of ROOT Robotics, she aims to make coding, AI, and robotics more accessible through creative early education.
Dr. Yvonne Darlene Cagle, an astronaut for NASA and a consulting professor at Stanford University, is known for her groundbreaking work on preserving NASA’s legacy data. She is also a leader in global mapping, sustainable energy, and disaster preparedness.
These exceptional women represent a mere fraction of the talent and innovation within STEAM/STEM fields. Their contributions and dedication inspire us to continue fostering diversity and inclusivity in these fields, paving the way for a brighter future.
What is National STEM/STEAM Day?
National STEM/STEAM Day is a day dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness about the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. It aims to encourage students and individuals to pursue careers in these fields and highlight the importance of STEM/STEAM education.
Why is STEM/STEAM education important?
STEM/STEAM education is essential because it equips students with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the modern world. It promotes critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and innovation, which are crucial in various industries and sectors.
What are some initiatives to promote diversity in STEAM fields?
Several initiatives and organizations are working towards promoting diversity in STEAM fields. Some examples include Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, and the Society of Women Engineers. These initiatives focus on providing resources, mentorship, and support to underrepresented groups to increase their representation in STEAM.