Symposium showcases efforts to prepare students for STEM careers

Across the University, a range of programs are preparing skilled professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with the goal of keeping the U.S. at the leading edge of science and innovation. Such initiatives were the focus of a symposium Monday, held as part of a week of activities celebrating the formal investiture of President Les Wong.

 Photo of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser introducing a panel of speakers.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser (from right) introduces a panel, including Director of the Health Equity Institute Cynthia Gomez, Associate Professor of Communication Studies Christina Sabee, Associate Professor of Economics Anoshua Chaudhuri and student Sean Gabel. Photo credit: Margot Hartford

In her opening remarks, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sue Rosser outlined why improving STEM education is a national priority for the U.S. "STEM education deficits affect our ability to find cures, improve the health of our citizenry and keep pace with technology," Rosser said.

The nation's shortfall in STEM professionals is not only an economic issue but is also linked to student retention and graduation, according to a panel of speakers representing SF State's Metro Academies Initiative.

 

 Photo of President Leslie Wong asking a question during the symposium on STEM education.

President Les Wong (right) asks a question during the symposium on STEM education. Photo credit: Margot Hartford

"Sixty percent of students who enter college with the goal of pursuing a science degree end up graduating with a non-STEM degree, and women and minorities are the most underrepresented in the STEM field," said Marilyn Thomas, the initiative's STEM coordinator. Thomas and colleagues discussed how Metro Academies responds to that need by providing underrepresented students with a supportive cohort and a structured sequence of classes that puts them on a fast track to graduation.

Also at the symposium, faculty and students spoke on a panel titled "STEM Beyond the Lab: Technology, Community and Health," and Professor of Mathematics Eric Hsu led a panel on STEM education. Read more about Hsu's work at the Center for Science and Math Education at http://news.sfsu.edu/eric-hsu-discusses-helping-teachers-and-students-succeed-stem

Last update: 
2016-01-26 16:39
By: 
eb