Talon News - Good Local News

AHS STEM

 

January 19, 2018

The extent to which political drama obscures the reality that is happening in our world is astonishing. We are in the midst of the most impactful evolutionary period in the history of humanity. Surprisingly for some, this evolution is neither global warming nor POTUS.

Big data analytics, algorithms, deep learning, machine learning, artificial intelligence, advanced data structures and super computing capacity have converged to drive automation that is just beginning to change our lives. Because advanced computing is accessible, robotics, electric vehicles, autonomous driving, nano technology, biotech, renewable energy, advanced batteries, 3D printing and more are all happening.

The news you won't find in mainstream can be found in job listings of Alphabet Energy, Blue Origin, Tesla, Uber-Otto, Virgin, Nvidia, and hundreds of other companies. These leaders are creating and monetizing a new economy.

There you will find openings for all manners of engineers; computer, mechanical, electrical, materials, biomedical, chemical, aerospace, bio-mechanical, mecha-tronics, robotics, microelectronic, environmental, manufacturing, and photonics and on and on.

If you also browse the graduation statistics you will find that not enough engineers are graduating to fill all these jobs. The massive demand and short supply indicates engineering jobs are going to dominate the economy for the foreseeable future. Thus, the push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in our K12 schools.

Last year Aztec High School students and parents, led by Laura Hays, Science Teacher, began discussing and planning a field trip that would expose participants to a broader range of possibilities in education and careers related to STEM sectors.

A four day trip to the University of Arizona (UA) at Tucson was settled on. One day at the UA Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory with private training on their telescope and space exploration. One day at UA Biosphere2 learning about the science behind balance and harmony within a sustainable human managed ecosystem. A third day for a tour of the UA campus. The concept won approval of the school board and administration (sans funding).

In spite of the dedicated effort, timing was off and it was not possible to pull all the details and funding together. It was agreed to delay the trip until April 2018 and start organizing fund-raising activities.

Understanding that the regional economy is not strong, fund raising activities would be carried out by students and volunteers vs seeking donations.

Activities were planned around the Christmas holiday to leverage students time off. Then came the tragic, tragic Aztec School shooting. Returning in the new year, participants met to reassess.

The STEM students expressed their desire to move forward with the trip, but realities of the lost month required a change in plans. If the trip is going to happen this year it will require help from the community.

Look for the Aztec STEM Club advertisements weekly in TALON for the menu of ways you can help. These are outstanding young people worth investing in.

 

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