Influence of Social Capital on the STEM Pipeline

The STEM pipeline is a national imperative, and this essay examines the theory of social capital, as described in Nan Lin’s book, Social Capital: A Theory of Social Structure and Action, and aims to provide a new perspective by extrapolating the potential influence social capital has on the STEM pipeline, specifically women and engineering, from K-12, to university, and into industry.

“I made it in engineering without help. They will too.” There is a problem, and They do need help!

“I made it in engineering without help. If these young women are meant to be engineers, they will too,” explained a female High School Engineering teacher. I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard this woman utter these words after I asked how she recruited and retained young women into her classes.  Assuming she ignored the shock and horror on my face, she…

Cubiclephobia: Death of the cubicle

Is a job about producing value or about being seen in your cube when your manager walks by? Is a job about creating, innovating, and leading, or being tethered to a grey cubicle? How do you think outside the box, if the box you are assigned to stifles all creativity and innovation? In the late 1960s, Robert Probst conducted studies to learn about the ways people…

STEM vs. the Arts?

STEM, STEAM, STREAM…. SCREAM?!

Is it STEM or STEAM? Why not STREAM? This battle of acronyms makes me want to SCREAM! I am not sure how long the acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) has been around, but the new buzzword is STEAM (sprinkle in the Arts), and it seems to be gaining steam in popularity. Why not call it STREAM, add a dash of reading in the…

A Case for Engineering in K-12

A Case for Engineering in K-12

In order to meet the forecasted demands for U.S. Labor in technical areas that require scientific and mathematical training, it is imperative that educators and students begin to understand STEM professions and the role of engineers. By advocating science and math in a more holistic, inclusive and social context, more students will develop confidence in these subjects and be prepared to pursue a career in engineering. This article is useful for parents, educators, counselors, and administrators.

Design is Creativity Unleashed

What is Design? Design is Creativity Unleashed

Can you teach creativity in design? YES! By providing opportunity for students to learn to construct their own problems and to become comfortable with ambiguity all within an environment that fosters independent resourcefulness, a student can develop creativity. If we want to educate engineers to be expert designers, it is best to start this process early so that it becomes an adaptive expertise.

Wanda Gass

Women in STEM: Wanda Gass

A renowned leader, both technically and civically, Wanda Gass has worked diligently to improve the workplace environment for women engineers and to empower girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Wanda worked at Texas Instruments (TI) for the last thirty years, where she became one of the highest ranking female technical leaders for her contributions to digital signal processors. Recently retired, she…

Green Roof MEA

Model Eliciting Activity: Green Roof

This is a model eliciting activity for high school students who have had algebra, examining rooftop gardens for commercial buildings. Model-eliciting activities (MEAs) are activities that encourage students to invent and test models. They are posed as open-ended problems that are designed to challenge students to build models in order to solve complex, real-world problems.