November 8th is National STEM Day—a day to celebrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To the surprise of my friends, these were my favorite school subjects. I liked solving for the correct answers on my math homework and studying facts and data in my science classes. I was comfortable with concrete answers. But, I realize now that the world of STEM actually lacks the concreteness and definite solutions I was so comfortable in school. Even the STEM program itself has expanded by recently adding an A for Art to create the STEAM.
Technological innovations are emerging at an unprecedented rate thanks to the individuals within the science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics fields. The individuals in these fields fuel advancements such as the Internet of Things (IoT), which enables us to connect and share data to improve security, healthcare, transportation, and more. The term itself, IoT, is a relatively new word, yet the Internet of Things is quickly gaining popularity. No one could have predicted a world as connected as the one we live in now, just as no one could have envisioned that robots would venture outside of the Star Wars world. Service robots assist humans with manufacturing and farming to increase productivity and safety. Engineers even developed emotional robots that can feel and react to humans using Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is used in several other areas as well, such as within the apps we use on our smartphones. Ridesharing apps use AI to predict when demand will be heaviest and; therefore, when more drivers should be on the road. In the near future, self-driving cars could use AI to avoid accidents and traffic. The list of applications goes on and on. These are just a few examples of the ever-changing applications that are helping our world as a whole.
Though the challenges of rapidly evolving technologies seem daunting, the potential behind them is something to embrace. New innovations and applications are as unstoppable as they are unpredictable. But, they are also groundbreaking and essential for our world’s growth and development. This National STEM Day, be sure to recognize all of the hard-working and intelligent students, young professionals, and experts pursuing excellence through STEM/STEAM programs, as well as the teachers, mentors, and parents who helped get them there. One day, they will no doubt discover something that will make the future brighter for all of us.
Sarah is a Social Media Specialist at Mouser Electronics and a recent graduate of Texas Christian University. When she’s not at work, she enjoys cheering on the horned frogs and eating her way through every Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth.
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