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. Early studies in the early 2000s showed that U.S. students were falling behind their peers in STEM, posing a threat to our economy. Educators and policymakers recognized the urgency to prioritize STEM education and research to bridge this gap.
Six states were granted funds by the National Governors Association to ensure that every high school student graduates with STEM knowledge for success in higher education. This focus on STEM education has led to significant growth in STEM jobs, which have grown three times faster than non-STEM jobs. However, despite this growth, there are still gender and racial gaps within STEM fields that need to be addressed.
In honor of National STEM/STEAM Day, let’s highlight some remarkable women who are making significant contributions in STEAM fields.
Dr. Ami B. Bhatt
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. Additionally, Dr. Bhatt is an advocate for collaborative care and believes in providing personalized, accessible healthcare for everyone.
Dr. Ayanna Howard
As the Dean of The Ohio State University College of Engineering, Dr. Ayanna Howard has made significant contributions in the field of robotics. She is an accomplished researcher, entrepreneur, and educator, and is actively working towards diversifying the engineering profession.
Professor Nergis Mavalvala
Professor Nergis Mavalvala is a renowned physicist at MIT, known for her work in gravitational waves and quantum measurement science. She has received numerous accolades for her contributions to physics and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2017.
Dr. Radhika Nagpal
Dr. Radhika Nagpal, an Augustine Professor of Engineering at Princeton University, specializes in Swarm Robotics and Collective Intelligence. She is a co-founder of ROOT Robotics, a company that aims to make coding, AI, and robotics more accessible through creative early education.
Dr. Yvonne Darlene Cagle
Dr. Yvonne Darlene Cagle is an astronaut for NASA and a consulting professor at Stanford University. She is known for her groundbreaking work on preserving NASA’s legacy data and is a leader in global mapping, sustainable energy, and disaster preparedness.
These exceptional women are just a few examples of the incredible talent and innovation within STEAM/STEM fields. Their contributions and dedication inspire us to continue fostering diversity and inclusivity in these fields.
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?
There are several initiatives and organizations 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 in order to increase their representation in STEAM.