Back in 2009, the United States Department of Labor presented its list of the 10 most sought-after employees—eight of them were ones with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. And, among the 10 fastest-growing occupations are ones specifically in science and medicine, including biomedical engineers, medical scientists, biochemists and biophysicists.
This isn’t actually news to us. We’re mightily attuned to the growth of STEM fields and the increasing need to make sure that we are cultivating and inspiring talent for the future. Statistics like the ones above may, however, be somewhat of a wake-up call for those outside of STEM communities.
Most people give little thought to how STEM has shaped and continues to shape our history, from the making of the wheel to the inception of the Internet. Everywhere we turn, there is some aspect of science, technology, engineering and math that touches us. Often the challenge, though, is inciting that sense of wonder among our youth and abolishing the perception that these fields are “nerdy” and uninteresting.
And, that’s why we’ve been making it our business for many years to support STEM education: to get out and talk to students, their teachers and their parents in as wide a spectrum as possible so that we can share what we know about why these fields are crucial—and even transformative—to all of our futures.
Later this month, we’ll be at this year’s USA Science and Engineering Festival being held at the Washington, DC Convention Center. Not only do we sponsor this important event, but we see it as a significant opportunity to engage directly with school-aged students and the general public. It’s one of many ways throughout the year that we’re on a mission to encourage and enthuse future scientists.
They are our most wanted, and we’re here to propel and motivate the next generation of STEM visionaries.