State of Education: Expo highlights the importance of STEM
At a recent science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, career expo it was clear that these subjects continue to be important for both teachers and students. Vince Gallagher reports.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
It's an example of all the emerging career fields out there: The STEM Career Expo 2012, in this case put on by the Schodack School District. But this isn't just for the students. The challenge is to make sure teachers are up on the new STEM technology
"Events like this to get teachers out in the real world to see what's happening, to get our teachers out to workshops, so they understand the STEM technologies; bring it back into the classrooms,” said Bob Horan, Schodack School District Superintendent.
For example, take a look at chemistry, or more specifically, polymers: protein connecting together to form solids.
"Since I'm planning on becoming a chemical engineer sometime in the future, this is definitely very helpful for what I'm planning on doing in the future,” said one student, Joel Sanson.
Or how about aviation and air traffic control?
"GPS in airplanes now being able to climb to sixty thousand feet and descend directly to their airport without having to do intermediate step-downs to an airport," explained Barbara Jones, Associate Professor of Aviation Science.
Or a career you may not think of right away when it comes to technology - a veterinarian.
"You have to be able to do biology, chemistry, microbiology...part of our jobs is that we do x-rays, we have to look under the microscope, we have to be able to look at different slides,” said veterinarian technician Sharon Evans.
Then, I visited a booth with plates featuring organisms and bacteria, in this case....fat.
"You can see the blue where the organism grew, and around that, the transparent zone, around that it's cloudy, out here, there's still fat, here where it's clear, the organism broke down the fat, so we know it's producing a particular enzyme," said associate professor Dawn Holsapple.
For some insight on events like this and education in general, I turned to parent and Congressman Chris Gibson.
"Every individual has their unique talents and contributions they can make to society, so we shouldn’t try to homogenize students, we should allow them to explore their passion and their interests,” said Rep. Chris Gibson, (R) 20th District.
Educators also commented on the growing technology fields, which are basically all math and science-based. It’s another example of the importance of STEM and the future.