The Blog


We have a long way to go before women are equally represented in the sciences

Melanie ShepherdSTEM in Utah

Despite the best efforts of many parents, teachers, and policymakers over the last two decades, we have yet to see the number of girls studying science and women entering scientific fields achieve parity. By most accounts, the numbers are still dismal.

Women make up half the work force, but less than 25% of the jobs in STEM fields

Melanie ShepherdSTEM in Utah

In elementary school, middle and high schools, girls and boys take math and science courses in roughly equal numbers and about as many girls as boys leave high school prepared to pursue science and engineering majors in college.  Yet, fewer women than men pursue these majors.

Dixie Middle School’s Allison Ames Claims STEM Excellence Award

Katherine KireievSTEM Awards, STEM in Utah, STEM Industry, STEM Partners

For eighth-grade Honors Math student Allison Ames—a 4.0 GPA student who’s part of her school’s Science Olympiad team and is a robotics powerhouse outside of school—there’s no limit to how far she’ll go to help her peers and community through her standout STEM skills.  The huge-hearted young scholar from St. George was honored for going the distance on Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena when she received the CenturyLink STEM Excellence Award on-court at half-time during the Utah Jazz’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Last year, Allison joined an extra-curricular 4-H FIRST Robotics team, working as a team player from the start in helping to create a water-conservation solution for Utah’s drought-prone climate. Her team earned special recognition for their project at the state competition, in large part due to Allison’s idea to help the team come up with an app for designing home irrigation systems from start to finish.

This year, Allison helped build her team’s robot, programming it to complete several missions in the robot games. She’s committed to helping her team be the best they can be and she enjoys the hands-on, real-world learning that she is engaged in.

“Allison is a seasoned leader on her robotics team and helps all team members work together and have fun,” said nominator Brandon Yost, Principal of Diamond Valley Elementary School. “She prepares team-building activities each time they get together, and is always looking for ways to provide service to others.”

Allison recently completed the highest recognition possible for the young women’s program in her church and is also a talented pianist who performs for residents of St. George-area care centers, in addition to playing the piano at benefit concerts.

“I love science and have always dreamed of becoming a labor and delivery nurse,” Allison said. “I want to have a positive influence in the world and I know I can by helping new babies come into the world. This award further motivates me to keep studying and working hard so I can achieve my dreams.”

Congratulations, Allison—and best of luck in realizing those dreams!

Stars to Light Up Vivint Arena on STEM Ed Night

Katherine KireievSTEM in Utah, STEM Partners, STEM Team

The Salt Lake City Stars—an NBA G-League team and Utah Jazz affiliate—are partnering with the Utah STEM Action Center for a family-friendly, K-12 STEM-themed night of hoops action on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at 7 p.m. when the Stars take on the Santa Cruz Warriors at Vivint Smart Home Arena!

STEM-related entertainment, concourse exhibits, and more are all part of the fun-filled family evening out. Kids of all ages are welcome!

Use the promo code “STEM” when you sign up here for discounted tickets. You can also call (801) 325-STAR and mention the code word “STEM” for the discounted rate.
Don’t miss out on this STELLAR opportunity!

Miss Draper Outstanding Teen Earns STEM Excellence Award

Katherine KireievSTEM Awards, STEM in Utah, STEM Industry, STEM Partners, STEM Team

Corner Canyon High School 9th grader Grace Mead is about as multitalented as a person can be. A stellar 4.0 GPA student, fluent in Mandarin Chinese, part of the school’s dance company, and superstar champion for STEM, Grace’s limitless vision and passion for life have crowned her Miss Draper Outstanding Teen 2018-2019.

Thanks to her passionate outreach efforts to encourage girls toward STEM futures (and a compelling nomination from teacher Jamie Crowther), Grace now holds the title of CenturyLink STEM Excellence Awardee. Grace was honored during last week’s Utah Jazz home game at Vivint Smart Home Arena against the Detroit Pistons.

Prior to taking center court at half-time, Grace jazzed up the pre-game crowd alongside her fellow Corner Canyon High School Dance teammates. Jamie Crowther, CCHS Dance Coach and teacher, was especially instrumental in choreographing an evening Grace will not soon forget.

Ms. Crowther nominated Grace for the CenturyLink STEM Excellence award in large part due to Grace’s amazing advocacy around increasing students’ engagement in STEM learning and careers—particularly increasing female representation in STEM fields. “Grace has been instrumental in her advocacy for STEM education, particularly with young girls,” Ms. Crowther stated. “She has also worked with the engineering teacher and students at a local elementary school to get them excited and interested in the engineering field.”

In fact, this outreach along with Grace’s “Bright Futures Begin with STEM” platform—check it out on Insta—sprung her into consideration and selection for her current extracurricular role as an official Utah STEM Ambassador, a position through which she helps educate and inspire others to consider the many pathways to successful futures, all stemming from…well,  STEM, of course!

“I aspire to become a biomedical engineer, specializing in prosthetics,” Grace said. “Along the way, I hope to be a role model for my peers and the younger generation about what is possible when you find your passion and are determined to follow it through to something meaningful.”

Congratulations and many thanks for your standout STEM outreach, Grace!