National STEM/STEAM Day – November 8th

Chances are you have heard more and more about the importance of “STEM” or “STEAM” in recent years, a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEAM adds Art to the lineup) — targets students of all ages, but especially elementary through high schoolers. In fact, Krishna Vedati, CEO and Co-founder at Tynker, a learning system that teaches kids to code, stated that, “introducing kids as young as six or seven years old to STEAM can vastly improve their development in crucial areas ranging from rational thinking to everyday social and emotional skills,” as reported by the Learning Counsel.”

Why the push for STEM/STEAM? The future is facing a critical shortage of professionals within these industries. According to the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, “Americans’ basic STEM skills have modestly improved over the past two decades but continue to lag behind many other countries.” This is only one of the many reasons November 8th has been named National STEM/STEAM Day, engaging children and young adults in STEM/STEAM programs and highlighting the importance and need for future careers in these areas.

Sparking students’ interest in STEM/STEAM activities and courses early on gives them more opportunities to explore down the road. “More and more careers will require STEAM skills, and getting children curious about math and science at a young age gives them a base layer to build upon,” according to the Learning Counsel.” Many students take their STEM/STEAM base and cross disciplines to discover more innovative solutions for today’s most complex problems, including Brenna Boyd, an acoustical designer at IP Design Group.

“Engineering is a challenging and rewarding career choice that allows you to be logical and technical in decision making and creative and innovative in design.”

 

– Brenna Boyd, acoustical designer at IP Design Group

Brenna Boyd showcasing acoustical consulting with virtual reality.

Boyd, like many engineers, first found her passion for engineering in high school; although, it wasn’t just the introduction to engineering course she took that helped her to become an acoustical designer. “I was in most all-school plays, all-school musicals, and drama classes, as well as band, choir, and show choir. I practically lived in the fine arts wing of my high school,” Boyd shares. “If you are deciding between the arts and the other areas of STEAM, just remember that you never have to stop being creative if you don’t go into the arts. Fuel your interest in science or engineering, and allow your creative endeavors in the arts to be a fun outlet (rather than turning them into a job). Or, find something technical where you can use your creativity as a skill or specialty. In acoustic consulting, I have both a technical and creative career. I can use my experience to have a better understanding of the needs and wants of the occupants of the spaces that we design.”

Recently, Boyd and the rest of IP Design Group’s acoustical team have been working on the Benson Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. The photo on the left showcases how our acoustical designers walk clients and building owners through the design process, allowing them to both hear and see the difference acoustical design makes.

If you, your child, or your student are interested in pursuing a career in any of the STEM/STEAM fields, Boyd’s advice is to encourage students to not feel committed to only one expertise and to take National STEM/STEAM Day as a chance to get out and explore the many facets of STEM/STEAM and what they have to offer. While we at IP Design Group might be a bit more biased toward the “Engineering” sector, not everyone might think engineering is for them. Boyd encourages others to get curious and to explore, “the many options and specialties in engineering, and different career paths as well, that way you can find exactly what you are looking for.”

Whether you are learning more about STEM/STEAM for your own career or encouraging future generations to get curious about science, technology, engineering, art, or mathematics, there are a variety of ways to grow and engage with the field. Here are a few resources to help get you started.

“Introducing kids as young as six or seven years old to STEAM can vastly improve their development in crucial areas ranging from rational thinking to everyday social and emotional skills.” – Krishna Vedati, CEO and Co-founder at Tynker

casual_brenna_boyd_18

Brenna Boyd has specialized knowledge and experience in sound transmission measurements to isolate spaces for privacy and functional considerations. Her ability to model room conditions results in improved environments for diverse user groups. Most recently, Boyd has been involved in a variety of education, auditorium, hospitality, and corporate project types that have diverse acoustical needs. In 2018, Boyd was one of only seven individuals nationally to receive the Leo Beranek Medal for Excellence in Noise Control.

Yumei Wang on the construction site of an air traffic control tower